Moving Right Along: Finding Information for Relocation

Article excerpt

It's decision time! You've been asked to take another job, maybe a transfer within your company, maybe a new job with a new company. Worse: it's your wife/husband/significant other who's been offered the job. Their dream job. The only drawback: it means moving. What do you do? Do you relocate or do you stay put?

The scenario may not be quite so personal. Your company may be considering relocating a plant or even their headquarters. The decision makers need information on relocation policies and procedures as well as hard data on specific locales under consideration. You've been asked to locate the information.

Can online databases help with both organizational and personal concerns? You bet your moving truck, but they're not the only answer to such deeply moving questions. Print sources and personal contacts are also important.

GENERAL, PRELIMINARY INFORMATION

Before analyzing any particular geographic area, some general questions need to be answered .If this is a personal move, you need to know what your employer will do for you and for your spouse. If you know what other companies do, you will have a better idea of what questions to ask your employer.

Good articles on various companies' policies can be found in ABI/INFORM and Management Contents. ABI/INFORM uses the straightforward term Relocating personnel, (230 hits) while Management Contents prefers the inverted entry devised by the Library of Congress, Employees, relocation of (25 hits). If you are going to search on the full inverted descriptor term, remember that most search services require literals (single or double quote marks) around the term. ABI/INFORM also has the term Transfers of employees (178 hits, 62 of them not also indexed with Relocating personnel).

From the organization's viewpoint, preliminary information which needs to be gathered includes other organizations' experiences with relocations, both in terms of logistics and personnel policies. Again, ABI/INFORM and Management Contents are good starting places. Both use the descriptor term Relocation of industry, making cross-file searching a little easier. Hit count is 157 on ABI/INFORM and 43 on Management Contents. Additionally, Management Contents has Business relocation (12 hits) and ABI/INFORM has Relocation (296 hits). The sub-heading Personnel management, often used by Management Contents indexers, may help narrow the search for personnel purposes.

BUSINESS PERIODICALS INDEX

Business Periodicals Index is another good source of general information although it lacks the abstracts found in ABI/INFORM and Management Contents. Terms used by Business Periodicals Index include Employees/Transfer (120 hits), Wives/Employment (29 hits), and Husband and Wife/Employment (5 hits, maybe it's a new term). A free-text search on Relocat: (the colon is WILSONLINE's truncation symbol, allowing you to pick up relocate, relocating, and relocation) is useful since this is only a citation database and there are fewer words to search in each record. Over 500 hits were garnered from this search.

Some article titles, when unclear, are supplemented by Wilson indexers with the word Relocation in parentheses. This Wilson technique combats the flippancy of some journal editors who prefer a flashy title to one which informs the reader. Kudos to Wilson.

On the organizational aspects of relocation, Business Periodicals Index is much more thorough than on the personal.

Instead of the Relocation of industry descriptor found in ABI/INFORM and Management Contents, Business Periodicals Index prefers Location of industry. Although not technically the same, many of the articles indexed by Location of industry are relevant to the topic of relocation.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MOVING

A source for more theoretical data on relocation is PsycINFO. Their descriptor term Human migration, is an extraordinarily pedantic term. …