Information Seeking: An Organizational Dilemma

By J. David Johnson | Go to book overview

FIVE
BARRIERS TO INFORMATION SEEKING OR THE BENEFITS OF IGNORANCE

[T]hey [Americans] judge that the diffusion of knowledge must necessarily be advantageous and the consequences of ignorance fatal. ( de Tocqueville, 1966)

[P]erfect knowledge is itself impossible, and an inherently impossible basis of social action and social relations. Put conversely, ignorance is both inescapable and an intrinsic element in social organization generally. ( Moore & Tumin, 1949, p. 788)

Information has always been a source of power, but it is now increasingly a source of confusion. In every sphere of modern life, the chronic condition is a surfeit of information, poorly integrated or lost somewhere in the system. ( Wilensky, 1968, p. 331)

Ignorance and information seeking are inextricably intertwined concepts ( Stigler , 1961). Ignorance, as used here, refers to a state where an individual is not aware of information related to organizational life, including procedures, policies, cultural factors, and events. So, ignorance exists when knowledge resides somewhere in the social system of which an individual is a part, yet the focal individual just does not have it. Ignorance by itself is not a sufficient condition for information seeking. Classically it is argued that a perceived need for the information is a necessary condition for information seeking to occur. Ignorance is thus different from ignoring, which often happens in an organization when an individual consciously knows that a problem exists, but chooses not to confront it.

Kerwin ( 1993) has developed a very useful classification scheme for mapping ignorance in terms of various levels of personal and societal (also read organizational) awareness and/or knowledge (see Table 5.1). Fundamentally, we can make a distinction between the things that are accepted as knowledge, although they might be socially constructed and subject to future paradigm

-69-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Information Seeking: An Organizational Dilemma
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • One Introduction and Overview 1
  • Two Hierarchies, Networks, and Markets 11
  • Three Information Fields 33
  • Summing Up 43
  • Four Information Carriers: A Focus on Channel Selection and Usage 45
  • Conclusion 65
  • Five Barriers to Information Seeking or the Benefits of Ignorance 69
  • Summary 96
  • Six Strategies for Seekers (and Nonseekers) 99
  • Summary 112
  • Seven Strategies for Managers 113
  • Summary 131
  • Bibliography 151
  • Index 177
  • About the Author 181
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 184

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.