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Engaging Liquid Knowledge Workers: Causes, Concerns, and Consequences

Deadline for paper submission August 30, 2017

Guest Editors

Manish Gupta
IBS Hyderabad, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education University, Hyderabad

Upasna A Agarwal
Faculty Member, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai

Richa Chaudhary
Professor of HR and OB, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Patna


To survive in today’s highly dynamic marketplace, knowledge-intensive organizations expect their workforce to adapt to ever-changing customer needs. For this, organizations are relying on a liquid workforce which comprises of part-timers, freelancers, and casual knowledge workers (Naik, 2016). In order to outperform, some companies – including Accenture, Google, and General Electric – have taken a lead to align their existing human resource practices as per the requirements of liquid knowledge workers (Petac and Petac, 2016). A liquid knowledge worker could be a nurse, an accountant, a teacher, a lawyer, an engineer or any other professional whose job description involves acquiring and applying information as a part-timer, a freelancer, or a casual worker (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst).

The main challenge for the managers of liquid knowledge workers is to keep them engaged in their job. They need to have workplace mobility, flexible work times, colleagues with an accommodating nature, a keen attitude to learning, and the ability to multitask (Klewes, Popp, and Rost-Hein, 2017). Managers often struggle to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of their liquid knowledge workers; they are highly sensitive to contextual factors, which is also the foundation of systems theory. It is this distinct nature of liquid knowledge workers from conventional workers that calls for in-depth analyses of the antecedent and consequences of engaging liquid knowledge workers.


The purpose of this special issue is two-fold. The first objective is to know the motivating factors for engaging liquid knowledge workers. The second objective is to understand the possible individual and organization-level outcomes of engaging knowledge workers.

Recommended Topics

Empirical papers (fully developed qualitative or quantitative papers and no concept paper) on the following or related topics are welcome:

  • Individual-/Organization-level factors affecting engagement of liquid knowledge workers at work.
  • Individual-/Organization-level outcomes of an engaged workforce comprising of liquid knowledge workers.
  • Knowledge workers and their role in liquid workforce.
  • Differences between the antecedents and consequences in engaging conventional and liquid knowledge workers.
  • Importance of engagement in the knowledge intensive volatile industries.
  • Engagement issues while aligning the full-time knowledge workers with the liquid ones.
  • Readiness of the management and employees to embrace liquid knowledge workers.
  • Engaging knowledge workers in teams/groups.

Review Process and Submission

  • All manuscripts will be first screened by the Guest Editors for the suitability of the manuscript. Final acceptance is subject to the Editor-in-Chief’s final editorial decision.
  • Select manuscripts will be double-blind reviewed.
  • Manuscripts should follow the style guidelines of the Journal.
  • Manuscripts are submitted with the understanding that they are original, unpublished works and are not being submitted elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts should be submitted to by August 30, 2017.
  • Please indicate clearly, both in the email heading and on your paper that your submission is for "JGOSS".
  • Paper details: Kindly visit Journal’s guidelines at


  • DeCenzo, D.A., Robbins, S.P. and Verhulst, S.L., (2010), Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Klewes, J., Popp, D., and Rost-Hein, M. (2017). Digital Transformation and Communications: How Key Trends Will Transform the Way Companies Communicate. In Out-thinking Organizational Communications (pp. 7–31). Springer International Publishing.
  • Naik, L., 2016. New liquid workforce your competitive advantage: feature-workplace planning. HR Future, 2016 (Oct 2016), pp.26–27.
  • Petac, E. and Petac, A. O. (2016). The Challenge of Private Cloud for the Digital Business. Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 373–379.