Information Seeking: An Organizational Dilemma

By J. David Johnson | Go to book overview

formation, and so on. In short, they lobby for an information infrastructure. At times, these groups will have agendas that do not necessarily coincide with an individual's need for information. While the entrepreneurial broker is an individual's agent, an advocacy group needs members to advance the group's agenda. So, at times, individual and group interests coincide, and, at times (of course), they don't. This is something to remember when we turn to the next chapter that focuses on the role that management can play in facilitating information seeking.


SUMMARY

This chapter started with a recapitulation of several recurring findings in the information-seeking literature that must be addressed by any individual or managerial strategies. Many of these traditional barriers to information seeking can be addressed. Training programs and support structures can be designed to overcome individual lack of skills and awareness of information sources. They also can increase the salience of information seeking as an important life/career skill. Perhaps most importantly, new technologies, which will be explored in detail in the next chapter, offer the possibility of over- coming and/or substituting for the traditional problems of accessibility, inertia, and the limitations of humans as information processors. But, as Paisley ( 1993) details, knowledge dissemination research has gone through similar cycles of the excitement of promising new technologies that have fallen by the wayside. Perhaps the most serious limit on these technologies is the recurring preference of individuals for interpersonal information sources who can digest and summarize vast quantities of information for individual seekers.

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