On the Scarcity of Research into the Information Roles Individuals Take in Organizations

The Institute for Business and Finance Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Global Conference on Business & Finance Proceedings, 2015, 10 (1), pp. 378 - 388
Issue Date:
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Pollack, 2015 Gatekeepers.pdf Published version419.3 kB
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Organizations are information processing organisms, admitting information from outside the organizational boundary, then taking action in the world in response to that information. The various ways that employees treat information are key contributors to an organization’s ability to respond to external information in a timely and effective way. The role of the gatekeeper has been the subject of a substantial body of research in the knowledge transfer and social network literature. However, there has been a surprising silence in these fields about other information roles that individuals take, and how these contribute to an organization’s ability to absorb and process information. Review of the marketing literature has revealed that specific roles have been identified which contribute to the ways that markets respond to new products, and these roles may have analogues within organizations. Review of the systems theory and cybernetics literature also suggests a role that individuals may play in the way that organizations process information. These observations lead to the proposal that research is needed into the different information roles that individuals play in organizations, and how these contribute to an organization’s ability to take action in response to a changing environment.
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