There are three types of knowledge workers, procedural, heuristic and executive, according to Don Tapscott, who is very interested in knowledge work and the impace of internal transparency on the corporate environment.
What you need to know, of course, depends on what kind of employee you are. But traditional job distinctions -- such as manager, professional, sales rep, administrator, factory worker -- don't describe knowledge work in a way that's useful to managers. What's needed is a new lens. I am struck by the excellent work in this area by Roger L. Martin, dean of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He argues that managers should think of knowledge work as falling into three categories: procedural, heuristic, and executive. These categories are important because they help us better understand the actual content of work, and thereby the extent of transparency and knowledge the worker needs.
[Thanks to Tom Godfrey's latest e-zine at AOK]