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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Nehad Ali Al-Hadi and Ali Saif Al-Aufi

Inspired by a task-based approach, this study aims to investigate the transformability of digital nomadic workers’ information practices by capturing the related social…

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1052

Abstract

Purpose

Inspired by a task-based approach, this study aims to investigate the transformability of digital nomadic workers’ information practices by capturing the related social and technical perspectives. It concentrates on conducting an exploration of the characteristics of nomadic work from two standpoints: mobile social practices adopted by nomadic workers in their unsteady work activities and the used technical approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a clear understanding and basic insights about nomadic working trends by interviewing 21 Omani digital nomads working in large organisations or small- and medium-sized enterprises, corporation workers, creative freelancers and workers who have a multi-functional set of competencies.

Findings

Although nomadic work is still in the early stages in Oman, the study results indicate that digital nomads are able to create transient work strategies that allow them to establish their own efficient workplaces. They also have the essential abilities to take advantage of technology to support their work achievement. The findings from such research could be used to develop general thinking among workers and organisations about the role of mobile work in improving work performance and investing in modern computing and information technology applications to facilitate successful remote working.

Practical implications

The study finding can help decision makers to address socio-technical matters by ensuring that cafes, airport lounges, public places and co-working spaces can meet the particular requirements of digital nomadic workers. Additionally, the study provides programmers with useful context on workers’ behaviour in relation to distance work, which could encourage them to develop new and local applications and potentially boost nomadic work.

Originality/value

There have been no empirical studies exist that cover key issues related to nomadic workers in the region. This study is the first attempt to provide primary indications that describe and define the nature of nomadic work in Oman by exploring the workers’ information practices in the nomadic environment. The study determines the information context of nomadic work, mainly focussing on how these dynamic contexts frame their information practices.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Ali Saif Al-Aufi, Ibrahim Al-Harthi, Yousuf AlHinai, Zahran Al-Salti and Ali Al-Badi

This paper aims to investigate the perceptions of Omani citizens toward the use of social media by the government for participatory and interactive relationships. More…

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1046

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the perceptions of Omani citizens toward the use of social media by the government for participatory and interactive relationships. More precisely, the descriptive nature of the study resides in its ability to explain how social media users regard the current status and levels of presence, transparency, engagement, responsiveness and trust about the current use of social media by the Omani Government.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was used to collect data. This was done via a self-administered questionnaire from a return sample of 1,769 citizens drawn from different places in Oman. These citizens were considered as well-informed and regular active users of social media. The reviewed literature provided a basis for the construct of the questionnaire.

Findings

The overall results indicated modest levels of agreement in all of the investigated factors. The neutral findings suggest that there is a level of uncertainty among the respondents regarding how the government is determining the potential of social media for participatory and interactive relationships. Findings in this study advocate the outcomes of the recent Arab Social Media Report, plus the few relevant studies included in the literature, which nearly stated that although there is a growing use of social media among citizens, governments are failing to take full advantage of social media. Governments are also failing to engage citizens to design and deliver more efficient and collaborative services, per this study’s findings.

Practical/implications

The findings call for the importance of strategically framing the use of participatory social media by the government. In a broader sense, the findings of this study are beneficial to all contexts that share similar political and socio-economic philosophy, especially the Arab states and most of the developing countries. The findings provide insights for governments in need of developing social media strategies to promote more collaborative and interactive governance.

Originality/value

The study aids in understanding the views of citizens who are the current major players in a highly technology-driven environment. This environment is found to be transforming the relationship between citizens and governments. The study adds knowledge to the currently scarce body of literature dealing with issues pertaining to citizen–government relationships in social media in the Arab states, and similar contexts in developing countries. Its findings may provide valuable insights for policy makers to leverage collaborative relationships between governments and citizens.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Ali Saif Al-Aufi, Nabhan Al-Harrasi, Shahid Al-Balushi and Hamed Al-Azri

The purpose of this study is to investigate the status, challenges and impacts of the Arab international book fairs, with particular focus on the Muscat Book Fair. This…

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1008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the status, challenges and impacts of the Arab international book fairs, with particular focus on the Muscat Book Fair. This study proposes a framework to assist in the design and organisation of future Arab book fairs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a variety of methods to obtain data, including questionnaires, site visits (both regional and international), observations and interviews. A literature review was also undertaken which helped determine major worldwide issues related to aspects of book fairs and the publishing industry, focusing on Arab book fairs.

Findings

Arab international book fairs remain relatively traditional, however, there are several examples of innovative improvements in some states. Reading habits and literacy trends were found to be influenced by dominant socio-cultural factors, emphasising religion and children’s literature. This seems to have a reverse effect on the publishing industry. Results also revealed a number of disadvantages related to economic downturns and political instability. Despite continuous expansion, Arab book fairs still suffer from various obstacles which affect the publishing industry’s growth. There are other obstacles that they face which are directly associated with distribution and marketing as well as violations of intellectual property laws.

Practical implications

This study proposes a framework for future improvement of the Muscat Book Fair. It discusses the engagement of local cultural institutions, non-profit community and academic organisations, as well as private sector organisations. These will leverage value and help keep abreast of international developments in book fairs/publishing. It is hoped that the proposed framework will be beneficial to those running book fairs at a regional level, and to countries with developing economies.

Originality/value

There have been no previous empirical studies investigating book fairs in the Arab states. This study adds to the currently scarce body of literature related to book fairs and the publishing industry.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2021

Ali Saif Said Al-Aufi, Nabhan Al-Harrasi and Azhar Al-Abri

The purpose of this study was to identify the status of using crowdsourcing to develop information services through the Twitter platform and to determine the factors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify the status of using crowdsourcing to develop information services through the Twitter platform and to determine the factors affecting such usage.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative action research approach was employed to achieve the objectives of the study and to provide answers to the research questions. The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing technique for improving information services has been explored through five procedural stages: diagnostics, action planning, action taking, evaluation and determined learning. Three tools were used to collect data: open interviews, content analysis of the sampled accounts on Twitter and users' perceptions regarding information services.

Findings

The results of the study revealed that crowdsourcing was not used in the development of information services per se, but it has been used for other purposes. The results also revealed that several factors influenced the adoption of using crowdsourcing to develop information services, including factors related to the institutional trust in crowds' capabilities, the nature of service and type of the needed development, and finally, the platform used to conduct crowdsourcing. The results of the action research proved that using crowdsourcing to develop information services could be effective.

Practical implications

The study suggests a model that can be used to test changes implemented in organizations, especially regarding adoption of crowdsourcing as a framework to achieve the objectives of the institution, particularly in the planning processes.

Originality/value

This research paper produces new knowledge through using a qualitative action research approach to understand the potential of social media in crowdsourcing. There have been no similar studies conducted in the region for the specified research design. The results add to the level of learning and raise awareness within the research community regarding the effectiveness of using crowdsourcing via social media platforms to improve the efficiency of information services.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Mariam Al-Nuaimi, Ali Al-Aufi and Abdelmajid Bouazza

This paper aims to evaluate the literature dealing with the sociocultural influences on undergraduate students’ information ethics (IE) cognition and behaviour. Much of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the literature dealing with the sociocultural influences on undergraduate students’ information ethics (IE) cognition and behaviour. Much of the reviewed literature draws on the experiences of countries that differ in terms of cultural and economic aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

This structured review uses an integrative approach to synthesize the existing literature relevant to the factors in question. Correspondingly, limitations, agreements and disagreements within the relevant literature are indicated. A set of relevance criteria is developed, and analytical information for each study is then organized and summarized into aggregate findings.

Findings

Despite the significant explanatory power of the reciprocal correlation between individualism and economic wealth to predict declines in unethical information practices, IE studies persist in producing inconsistent findings in this regard. Thus, further facets of cross-cultural differences should be addressed beyond the individualistic/collectivistic typology.

Originality/value

This paper has pedagogical worth for students, researchers and developers of IE educational programs at the tertiary level. It also possesses methodological value for studying the sociocultural effects on the IE behaviour of computing professionals within the broader context of global IE research.

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Maryam Nasser AL-Nuaimi, AbdelMajid Bouazza, Maher M. Abu-Hilal and Ali Al-Aufi

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the development and validation of a self-report structured questionnaire based on the theory of planned behaviour…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the development and validation of a self-report structured questionnaire based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). The questionnaire was used to investigate university undergraduate students’ cognition, behavioural intent, and behaviour concerning the ethical use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative correlational cross-sectional approach to data collection was used by administering a self-report questionnaire to a sample of 327 undergraduate students. To establish the construct validity of the questionnaire, internal consistency reliability and factorial analyses were performed.

Findings

Significant but different correlations between the constructs were under study. The behavioural intention had the greatest and most significant correlation with behaviour pertaining to information ethics. Overall, the scales, which constitute the instrument, showed acceptable indices of measurement validity.

Practical implications

The research implications of this paper shed light on the applicability of the TPB to the specific context in which this study was conducted. The results imply that the TPB framework can be extended and employed to understand better the influence of comprehending information-ethics concepts on the intentions and practices related to the ethical use of ICTs.

Originality/value

The paper has methodological value for researchers who seek to develop empirical instruments for measuring the factors that bear upon the attitudes and the behaviours related to information ethics. Furthermore, the paper has pedagogical value for students, teachers, and developers of information-ethics educational programmes at the tertiary level.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Ali Al-Aufi and Crystal Fulton

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which social networking tools had an impact on academics’ patterns of informal scholarly communication in humanities and…

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2206

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which social networking tools had an impact on academics’ patterns of informal scholarly communication in humanities and social science disciplines. Social networking tools, reinforced by proliferation and advances in portable computing and wireless technologies, have reshaped how information is produced, communicated and consumed.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-institutional quantitative study utilized an online questionnaire survey sent to 382 academics affiliated with humanities and social science disciplines in two different academic institutions: one that belongs to a Western tradition of scholarly communication in Ireland, and the other to a developing country in Oman. Descriptive interpretation of data compared findings from both universities. Frequencies, percentages and means were displayed in tables to enhance the meaning of collected data. Inferential analysis was also conducted to determine statistical significance.

Findings

Overall findings indicate progressive use of social networking tools for informal scholarly communication. There is perceived usefulness on the impact of social networking tools on patterns of informal scholarly communication. However, nearly one-third of the respondents have never used social networking tools for informal scholarly communication. Institution-based data comparison revealed no significant differences on data except for few activities of informal scholarly communication.

Research limitations/implications

Given that the number of study subjects was eventually small (total = 382) and that academics by their very nature are disinclined to respond to online surveys, results of the study may suggest non-response errors, and these may impact negatively on the acceptability of inferences and statistical conclusions. The results of the study are, therefore, unlikely to be useful for generalization, but they remain suggestive of a growing tendency among humanities and social sciences’ academics to use social networking tools for informal scholarly communication.

Originality/value

Empirical findings provide a broad understanding about the potential of social networking tools on informal scholarly communication in areas of humanities and social sciences disciplines. Multi-disciplinary investigation and qualitative studies may further deepen our understanding of the impact of social networking tools on patterns of scholarly communication.

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Ali Al‐Aufi and Paul Genoni

The purpose of this paper is to investigate disciplinary differences in the use of networked information for research and scholarly communication at Sultan Qaboos…

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622

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate disciplinary differences in the use of networked information for research and scholarly communication at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Oman. The paper produced quantitative data on how and why academics within different disciplines utilise networked information either made available internally through the university library, or externally through services accessed by the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted with academic staff at SQU.

Findings

Statistical analysis found a number of significant differences between respondents in the science disciplines and those in the social sciences and humanities with regard to their use of, and attitudes towards, digital information services. While respondents from science disciplines show overall longer and more frequent use of networked information, respondents from humanities and social sciences indicated more positive attitudes towards library networked services.

Research limitations/implications

The Arab country context presents a challenge in determining the degree to which results can be extrapolated to other environments, in that disciplines are also divided by language. Science disciplines teach in English, and the social science and humanities in Arabic.

Originality/value

While similar studies have been undertaken in developed countries, this study is an attempt to establish some data for a developing Arab country.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Ali Al-Aufi and Khulood Ahmed Al-Kalbani

This study aims to identify and assess the status and level of motivation of employees working in the Omani academic libraries at Muscat Governorate according to Maslow's…

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2467

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and assess the status and level of motivation of employees working in the Omani academic libraries at Muscat Governorate according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach containing a questionnaire survey was used for collecting data from 111 librarians and library employees in 29 identified academic libraries.

Findings

Findings pointed out that the motivation level was modest with varied attitudes for individual motivational needs. The need for security was indicated as the least motivating with an average mean score below agreement. Their lower-order motivational needs are apparently satisfied except for security needs which indicated a level below satisfaction. On the other hand, the upper-level needs of self-esteem were not adequately satisfied.

Research limitations/implications

Motivation has the potential to satisfy the five essential needs that Maslow built up in hierarchy. However, library managers are also responsible to determine every individual behavior of employees and accordingly adopt the proper motivational strategy. The study recommends developing and implementing local standards for a motivational system appropriate for all academic libraries in Oman, taking into consideration the respondents' needs for security. The study also recommends conducting further studies on work motivation in other library settings such as learning resource centers and public libraries.

Originality/value

The study helps assess the status of motivation in the academic libraries of a developing country. It also helps describe and explain motivation from the perspectives of librarians and other employees. The literature in the region does not indicate similar studies that addressed the issue of motivation in the academic libraries or other library settings. This study, however, is the first to deal with motivation in academic libraries in Oman.

Details

Library Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Ali Saif Al‐Aufi and Peter Johan Lor

This paper aims to utilize Whitley's theory of the intellectual and social organization of the sciences and build on research carried on by Aarek et al., Vakkari…

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1021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to utilize Whitley's theory of the intellectual and social organization of the sciences and build on research carried on by Aarek et al., Vakkari, Rochester and Vakkari, and Åström, to analyze both intellectual and institutional characteristics of Arabic library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

Data derived from a content analysis of sampled research articles published in seven core peer‐reviewed Arabic LIS journals and from an inventory of the currently identified Arabic LIS educational institutions, professional associations, and scholarly communication channels were analyzed in terms of Whitley's theory and relevant LIS research.

Findings

The social organization of Arabic LIS has highly influenced its intellectual organization. An analysis of types and diversity of institutional affiliations, determination of terminology, resources and fund accessibility, scholarly communication of intellectual productivity, and research collaboration point to high levels of “tasks uncertainty”, low levels of “mutual dependency” and uncontrolled “reputational autonomy”.

Research limitations/implications

Because Arabic LIS institutions, associations, and research channels are poorly represented on the internet or in accessible literature, it was difficult to collect data comprehensively. While the findings are suggestive and are in agreement with views from the Arabic LIS literature, the results cannot be generalized to regions beyond the Arab world. This investigation is not primarily intended as a contribution to the philosophy of LIS, but to describe the development of LIS in the Arab States within a broad social and intellectual framework.

Originality/value

While there is a considerable body of theoretically‐oriented interpretations for bibliometric findings, no research has been conducted to analyze the social and intellectual dimensions of LIS in the Arab world. This paper also fills a gap for this type of the research in Arabic LIS and creates awareness of Arabic LIS for English‐speaking readers.

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