Information technology is a facilitator in knowledge diffusion by enabling individuals to communicate directly in personal exchange. This includes interactive communications through newsgroups and discussion groups. Two discussion groups were analysed, the Social Work Discussion Group SOCWORK, and ABUSE‐L, a professional forum for child abuse issues. Three types of communication were identified: information transfer, requests for information and discussion of issues. The discussion of issues was the main type of communication in both discussion groups, followed by the request for information and then information transfer. Communications in the discussion groups were dominated by a small number of people. Policy issues were the main topic of discussion in both groups. The control of information technology by academics appears to limit the participation of social work practitioners in determining the agenda of the discussion group or the contents of the communications. Social worker practitioners have not increased their access to information even though the technology to make it accessible exists.
CitationDownload as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited