The Knowledge Economy and Quality of Work in the Future: An Exploratory Study


  • Florinda Maria Carreira Matos DINÂMIA'CET – IUL
  • Pedro Oliveira Life Quality Research Centre (CIEQV), Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Santarém, Portugal & Iscte - University Institute of Lisbon - DINÂMIA’CET-IUL - Centre for Socioeconomic Change and Territorial Studies



knowledge economy, technological innovation, labour market, quality of work, sustainability


The emergence of digital technologies is transforming economic paradigms and leading to significant changes in product and factor markets, as well as how businesses operate. While these technologies enhance productivity, they also present new challenges for businesses regarding manufacturing methods, sources of competitive advantage, and market structures, impacting how work is conducted. Workplace transformations are happening at a faster pace than anticipated, raising important questions for employees, business decision-makers, and policymakers. We conducted an exploratory study to analyze the realism of the Knowledge Economy model's perspective on workplace changes. The study was based on a non-exhaustive literature review and an empirical study conducted with professionals from companies in Portugal belonging to several sectors of activity. Our research leads to the conclusion that the Knowledge Economy model, through technological innovation, has shaped the quality of work, bringing new insights and self-engagement of employees. However, digitalization might induce urgent needs for reskilling and upskilling. Therefore, it is essential to request such a challenge not only to employees but also to organizations and public authorities by investing in lifelong education and training and implementing policies, actions, and tools to facilitate the digital economy transition. Such proactive measures will propel the labor market towards greater availability of decent work, foster a more inclusive society, and promote social well-being and economic prosperity.