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Module Number: BN3386

Module Title: Knowledge at Work

Number of Aston Credits: 10

Total Number of ECTS Credits: 5

(European Credit Transfer)

Staff Member Responsible for the Module:

Dr Matthew Hall
Operations & Information Management Group

ABS Building, Room 255, Extension 3120

email: m.j.hall@aston.ac.uk

Pre-Requisite(s) for the Module:

This module is intended primarily for final year students who have completed
a placement year or internship. It is necessary to have substantial experience
of working in an organisation to get the most out of this module.

Module Learning Outcomes:

The creation, application and sharing of knowledge is a critical success factor

for many individuals and organisations in todays global economy. Many of
you will have spent your placement year (or internship) working in a
knowledge-intensive organisation, engaged in what the literature calls
knowledge work. In this module we consider both what it means to be
effective as a knowledge worker, and what it means for an organisation to be
effective in managing knowledge. This will enable you to be more effective in
the work you go on to do after graduation, and in the development of your
career as a manager.

By the end of this module you will have developed:

(a) Knowledge and Understanding

- understanding of the importance of knowledge in organisations and to
individuals in the workplace
- understanding of what it means to work effectively in a knowledge-
intensive organisation and what characterises knowledge work
- understanding of your own skills and competence as a knowledge
- understanding of what organisations can do to manage knowledge
and of your placement organisations effectiveness in this respect

(b) Cognitive and Analytical skills

- ability to analyse and critically appraise your own skills and
competence as a knowledge worker

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- ability to analyse and critically appraise your placement organisations

effectiveness in managing knowledge and to recommend
improvements in how knowledge is organised and managed
- skills in using theory and learning from case-studies to generate
improvements in your own and your organisations practice

(c) Key/Transferable Skills

- Skills which make us effective and productive as knowledge workers
in knowledge-intensive organisations
- Skills in reflective practice (i.e. reflecting upon your own and your
organisations practice and making improvements)

(d) Subject Specific Skills

- The knowledge and skills developed in this module are transferable to
any organisational work context

Module Content:

Week 1 Introduction to the module and use of PebblePad

Week 2 What is knowledge?

Why is knowledge important to individuals and

Week 3 Knowledge-intensive firms and knowledge workers

Week 4 Tacit and explicit dimensions of knowledge

The role of information

Week 5 Skills and competences for knowledge work

Week 6 Learning and its importance to individuals and


Week 7 The importance of knowledge sharing and


Week 8 Managing knowledge work

How can organisations manage knowledge?

Week 9 The use of information and communication

technologies (ICT)

Week 10 Revision (1)

Week 11 Revision (2)

Week 13 Webfolio submission

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International Dimensions:

Many organisations require skills and competences which can be

applied in a multi-national working environment and in an increasingly
global economy, where there is a greater challenge for multi-national
firms to mobilise knowledge sharing across their geographical
The module makes use of case-studies, many of which are of multi-
national corporations

Corporate Connections:

The module makes use of case studies of knowledge at work in actual

organisations. You will draw upon your own experiences of knowledge work in
your placement company.

Links to Research:

The module draws upon research conducted by the module tutor into the role
of knowledge in organisations, and into the role of skills and competences in
securing graduate employment.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Effective sharing and use of knowledge is key to the sustainability of

collaborative enterprise in business and society as a whole.

Learning and Teaching Rationale and Methods:

Your learning is achieved through your participation in weekly classes, weekly

readings, a weekly blog, and the submission of a final webfolio which
demonstrates your learning on the module as a whole.

The weekly classes are based around a particular theme for which there is a
compulsory reading provided. These are chapters taken from the reading list,
which you are encouraged to read in advance of the class. You also need to
prepare for a class-based discussion, which usually requires you to read a
case-study in advance. The use of case-studies enables you to learn lessons
from the experiences of other organisations in order to apply to your
placement experience. In addition to the essential reading, suggestions are
made for additional chapters you can read from the books on the reading list.
The weekly classes and readings provide you with theoretical concepts and
case-study examples to apply to the analysis of knowledge work in your
placement organisation.

The main objective of your learning is to critically reflect upon your work
placement (internship) experience, in order to appraise your own skills and
competence as a knowledge worker, and your placement organisations
effectiveness in managing knowledge. For this reason you are required to
complete a blog (over a course of 8 weeks) in which you reflect upon
knowledge work in your placement organisation according to the theme for

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each week. For each blog entry you are given questions to discuss, and you
are encouraged to draw upon concepts and insights from the weekly essential
readings. The purpose of the blogs is to encourage you to keep up with your
weekly study, and to provide you with material upon which to base the critical
appraisal elements of your webfolio.

The assessment for the module is by an individual webfolio submitted on

PebblePad. The main objective of the assessment is to enable you to critically
appraise your own skills and competence as a knowledge worker, and your
placement organisations effectiveness in managing knowledge. Further
details are given in the section on feedback and assessment below.

All slides, lecture notes, and readings (where available electronically) will be
available via Blackboard. The system for recording and demonstrating your
learning on this module is the online personal learning environment,
PebblePad. You use PebblePad to publish your blog and submit your final
webfolio, and to gain feedback on an initial draft.

How are the 100 learning hours achieved?

Classes 22 hours
Weekly readings 22 hours
Weekly blogs (x 8) 16 hours
Other reading and webfolio preparation 40 hours

Total 100 hours

Ethical approval

There is no primary research involved in this module, therefore ethical

approval is not needed for the learning activities.

Assessment and Feedback Rationale and Methods:

The method of assessment is 100% individual. You are required to submit a

webfolio on PebblePad which is comprised of the following components:

Component Weighting

Critical appraisal of your skills and competence as a knowledge 30%

worker, drawing upon evidence from your placement (and other
working experiences), with recommendations for improvement.
Maximum 2000 words.

Critical appraisal of your placement organisations effectiveness 50%

in managing knowledge, drawing upon evidence from the work
performed within your team or division, with recommendations for
improvement. Maximum 3000 words.

Evidence of weekly blogs (x 8) 10%

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Please note that the blogs are not separately graded: The 10% of
marks allocated to the blogs will be accredited at the weighted
average grade awarded to the other assessment components.
You only need to provide evidence that these blogs have been
completed in order to accrue the marks for this assessment
component, however you will be penalised 2.5% for each blog
entry which is missing from your webfolio. Therefore if none of
the 8 blogs is present in the webfolio, you will not earn the 10%
for this assessment component, and will be penalised a further
10% of your mark for the module as a whole.

Presentation of webfolio 10%

The two critical appraisal pieces must be within the maximum
word limit. There is no word limit (minimum or maximum) for the
weekly blogs. You may also include in your webfolio any other
sources of evidence necessary to refer to in your critical

Criteria for assessment of the different components are issued separately.

General feedback will be given on blogs half way through the module.
Individual feedback will be given on a draft of your webfolio published on

Feedback on your final performance in the webfolio is available by making an

individual appointment with the module leader after the results have been

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