Information Seeking: An Organizational Dilemma

Information Seeking: An Organizational Dilemma

By: J. David Johnson (author)Paperback

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How do people in organizations get the information they need to do their work, and what are the effects of their research -positive and negative-on their organizations? Indeed, says the author of this unique, provocative study, the forces that promote ignorance within organizations often outweigh the drive to obtain knowledge. Johnson explores both sides of the information-seeking dilemma, the reasons why people do and do not look for and get the information they need-and why the multi-billion-dollar technologies that have been developed to facilitate information gathering so often fail. Research-based, with a model to explain how information seeking works in organizations, Dr. Johnson's book will be fascinating, essential reading not only for gatherers of information in all types of organizations, but for the purveyors, their technological support staffs. The study of information seeking is one of great pragmatic importance for individuals, organizations, and our society. It is also one that is more complex than it might at first appear, presenting many dilemmas for the organization. Chapter 1 provides a basic overview of the importance of information seeking and a definition. Chapter 2 describes the more general communication structure of organizations in which individual information seeking is embedded. While traditional views of structure were based on the need to restrict information access in order to reduce information load, more modern views try to capture how organizations can process ever larger volumes of information. Chapter 3 describes the information fields outside of the organization. Chapter 4 develops a more complete picture of the information carriers that individuals have to select from. Chapter 5 describes the barriers to information seeking which often result from the real benefits of ignorance for both individuals and organizations. Chapter 6 details strategies individuals can use in their search for information. Chapter 7 discusses what management can do to facilitate a seeker's search for information. In summary, Chapter 8 weaves all of the themes of the book together in discussing the importance of the development of a theory of information seeking and the pragmatic implications of information seeking for our society as a whole.

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About Author

J. DAVID JOHNSON is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Communication, Michigan State University. He is author of numerous articles and reviews in refereed journals on his research interests, which focus on organizational communication structure, information seeking, and health communication. Dr. Johnson is and has been a consulting editor for major journals in his fields and is author of a previous book, Organizational Communication Structure (1993).


Preface Figures and Tables Introduction and Overview Hierarchies, Networks, and Markets Information Fields Information Carriers: A Focus on Channel Selection and Usage Barriers to Information Seeking or the Benefits of Ignorance Strategies for Seekers (and Non-Seekers) Strategies for Management Summing Up: Information Seeking in the Information Age Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/06/1996
  • ISBN13: 9780899309996
  • Format: Paperback, Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9780899309996
  • weight: 457
  • ISBN10: 0899309992

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