Don't Confront Problems|
Lack of Coordination
Comfort of Denial|
More Difficult to Control
More Likely to|
esteem and frustration, that result from an unsuccessful search ( Hudson & Danish, 1980).
These consistent patterns of findings have been articulated in various "laws" of information-seeking behavior. The classic law of "least effort" has been evoked to articulate why channels are chosen first that involve the least effort ( Broadbent & Koenig, 1988; Doctor, 1992; Hudson & Danish, 1980; Krikelas, 1983; Pinelli, 1991; Saunders & Jones, 1990). Mooer's Law suggests an information source or system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome to have the information than it is not to have it ( Culnan, 1983).
Beyond these generalizations lies the basic assumption that people desire to know. In user needs studies of the public, done for libraries, from 10 to 20 percent of respondents report that they have no question or problem for which they need answers ( Krikelas, 1983). In sum, in many instances, the costs of obtaining information make ignorance, or at least less than complete information, a preferable state.
As a way of summarizing this chapter, we will organize our discussion around the dimensions presented in Table 5.2. The cells in this table are classified by levels of ignorance (awareness of things known to others in the organization), and the costs and benefits of ignorance for organizational mem-