This paper aims to discuss what it means to consider the information experience of academic information management from a constructivist grounded theory perspective. Using a doctoral study in progress as a case illustration, the authors demonstrate how information experience research applies a wide lens to achieve a holistic view of information management phenomena. By unifying a range of elements, and understanding information and its management to be inseparable from the totality of human experience, an information experience perspective offers a fresh approach to answering today's research questions.
The case illustration is a constructivist grounded theory study using interactive interviews, an original form of semi-structured qualitative interviews combined with card-sorting exercises (Conrad and Tucker, 2019), to deepen reflections by participants and externalize their information experiences. The constructivist variant of grounded theory offers an inductive, exploratory approach to address the highly contextualized information experiences of student-researchers in managing academic information.
Preliminary results are reported in the form of three interpretative categories that outline the key aspects of the information experience for student-researchers. By presenting these initial results, the study demonstrates how the constructivist grounded theory methodology can illuminate multiple truths and bring a focus on interpretive practices to the understanding of information management experiences.
This new approach offers holistic insights into academic information management phenomena as contextual, fluid and informed by meaning-making and adaptive practices. Limitations include the small sample size customary to qualitative research, within one situated perspective on the academic information management experience.
The study demonstrates the theoretical and methodological contributions of the constructivist information experience research to illuminate information management in an academic setting.
The authors would like to thank our San José Gateway community and our critical friends far and wide, namely Drs. Kate Davis, Clarence Maybee, and Faye Miller. Many thanks, as well, to the other members of this doctoral supervisory team, Drs. Guy Gable, Mary M. Somerville, and Jason Watson. Additionally, Lettie Conrad would like to thank the friendly information scholars who engaged in enlightening conversation about information experience research during the 2019 ASIS&T annual meeting, in particular, Drs. Elham Sayyad Abdi, Kate Davis, Andrew Demasson, Tim Gorichinaz, Pamela Hoyte, and Clarence Maybee. Ethics clearance and permission to use participants’ anonymised interview data are in accordance with QUT Low Risk Research Approval #1600000992.
Conrad, L.Y., Bruce, C.S. and Tucker, V.M. (2020), "Constructing information experience: a grounded theory portrait of academic information management", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 72 No. 4, pp. 653-670. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-11-2019-0333Download as .RIS
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