Who you gonna call? seeking information and expertise for decision making in local government

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Journal Article
Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2019, 56, (1), pp. 117-126
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Author(s) retain copyright, but ASIS & T receives an exclusive publication license This paper analyzes the findings of a research project into the information seeking practices of local government decision-makers in terms of collaborative information seeking (CIS) and expertise seeking. It finds that the participants do collaborate in information seeking and that there is a clear preference for personal information sources. The generally accepted definition of CIS as groups collectively seeking information in the performance of common projects or tasks is found to have limited applicability in many real-life situations. Conversely, viewing expertise seeking as an individual activity in which another person is selected as an information source based on their high level of knowledge or skill does not reflect the collaborative nature of the modern organization. It is argued that neither approach adequately accounts for the full range of behaviors observed in practice, and that research into organizational information behavior would benefit from a conceptual amalgamation of CIS and expertise seeking.
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