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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Isto Huvila

Information science research has begun to broaden its traditional focus on information seeking to cover other modes of acquiring information. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

Information science research has begun to broaden its traditional focus on information seeking to cover other modes of acquiring information. The purpose of this paper is to move forward on this trajectory and to present a framework for explicating how in addition to being sought, existing information are made useful and taken into use.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual enquiry draws on an empirical vignette based on an observation study of an archaeological teaching excavation. The conceptual perspective builds on Andersen’s genre approach and Huvila’s notion of situational appropriation.

Findings

This paper suggests that information becomes appropriable, and appropriated (i.e. taken into use), when informational and social genres intertwine with each other. This happens in a continuous process of (re)appropriation of information where existing information scaffolds new information and the on-going process of appropriation.

Originality/value

The approach is proposed as a potentially powerful conceptualisation for explicating information interactions when existing information is taken into use rather than sought that have received little attention in traditional models and theories of human information behaviour.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Isto Huvila, Olle Sköld and Lisa Börjesson

Sharing information about work processes has proven to be difficult. This applies especially to information shared from those who participate in a process to those who…

Abstract

Purpose

Sharing information about work processes has proven to be difficult. This applies especially to information shared from those who participate in a process to those who remain outsiders. The purpose of this article is to increase understanding of how professionals document their work practices with a focus on information making by analysing how archaeologists document their information work in archaeological reports.

Design/methodology/approach

In total 47 Swedish archaeological reports published in 2018 were analysed using close reading and constant comparative categorisation.

Findings

Even if explicit narratives of methods and work process have particular significance as documentation of information making, the evidence of information making is spread out all over the report document in (1) procedural narratives, (2) descriptions of methods and tools, (3) actors and actants, (4) photographs, (5) information sources, (6) diagrams and drawings and (7) outcomes. The usability of reports as conveyors of information on information making depends more on how a forthcoming reader can live with it as a whole rather than how to learn of the details it recites.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a limited number of documents representing one country and one scholarly and professional field.

Practical implications

Increased focus on the internal coherence of documentation and the complementarity of different types of descriptions could improve information sharing. Further, descriptions of concepts that refer to work activities and the situation when information came into being could similarly improve their usability.

Originality/value

There is little earlier research on how professionals and academics document and describe their information activities.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Nicole K. Dalmer and Isto Huvila

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that a closer consideration of the notion of work and, more specifically, information work as a sensitizing concept in Library and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that a closer consideration of the notion of work and, more specifically, information work as a sensitizing concept in Library and Information Science (LIS) can offer a helpful way to differently consider how people interact and engage with information and can complement a parallel focus on practices, behaviours and activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting with the advent of the concept of information work in Corbin and Strauss’ work, the paper then summarizes how information work has evolved and taken shape in LIS research and discourse, both within and outside of health-related information contexts.

Findings

The paper argues that information work affords a lens that can acknowledge the multiple levels of effort and multiple processes (cognitive, physical or social-behavioural) related to information activities. This paper outlines six affordances that the use of information work within LIS scholarship imparts: acknowledges the conceptual, mental and affective; brings attention to the invisibility of particular information activities and their constituents; opens up and distinguishes the many different lines of work; destabilizes hierarchies between professionals and non-professionals; emphasizes goals relating to information activities and their underlying pursuits; and questions work/non-work dichotomies established in existing LIS models.

Originality/value

This paper is a first in bringing together the many iterations of information work research in LIS. In doing so, this paper serves as a prompt for other LIS scholars to take up, challenge the existing borders of, and thus advance the concept of information work.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Isto Huvila

In the context of organisation studies, Shotter and colleagues have used the notion of practical authorship of social situations and identities to explain the work of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of organisation studies, Shotter and colleagues have used the notion of practical authorship of social situations and identities to explain the work of managers and leaders. This notion and contemporary theories of authorship in literary scholarship can be linked to the authoring of documents in the context of document studies to explain the impact and use of documents as instruments of management and communication. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual discussion is supported by an empirical interview study of the information work of N=16 archaeologists.

Findings

First, the making of documents and other artefacts, their use as instruments (e.g. boundary objects (BOs)) of management, and the practical authorship of social situations, collective and individual identities form a continuum of authorship. Second, that because practical authorship seems to bear a closer affinity to the liabilities/responsibilities and privileges of attached to documents rather than to a mere attribution of their makership or ownership, practical authorship literature might benefit of an increased focus on them.

Research limitations/implications

This paper shows how practical authorship can be used as a framework to link making and use of documents to how they change social reality. Further, it shows how the notion of practical authorship can benefit of being complemented with insights from the literature on documentary and literary authorship, specifically that authorship is not only a question of making but also, even more so, of social attribution of responsibilities and privileges.

Originality/value

This paper shows how the concepts of documentary and practical authorship can be used to complement each other in elaborating our understanding of the making of artefacts (documentary) BOs and the social landscape.

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Isto Huvila

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the affective premises and economics of the influence of search engines on knowing and informing in the contemporary society.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the affective premises and economics of the influence of search engines on knowing and informing in the contemporary society.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual discussion of the affective premises and framings of the capitalist economics of knowing is presented.

Findings

The main proposition of this text is that the exploitation of affects is entwined in the competing market and emancipatory discourses and counter-discourses both as intentional interventions, and perhaps even more significantly, as unintentional influences that shape the ways of knowing in the peripheries of the regime that shape cultural constellations of their own. Affective capitalism bounds and frames our ways of knowing in ways that are difficult to anticipate and read even from the context of the regime itself.

Originality/value

In the relatively extensive discussion on the role of affects in the contemporary capitalism, influence of affects on knowing and their relation to search engine use has received little explicit attention so far.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Isto Huvila, Åsa Cajander, Jonas Moll, Heidi Enwald, Kristina Eriksson-Backa and Hanife Rexhepi

Data from a national patient survey (N = 1,155) of the Swedish PAEHR “Journalen” users were analysed, and an extended version of the theory of technological frames was…

Abstract

Purpose

Data from a national patient survey (N = 1,155) of the Swedish PAEHR “Journalen” users were analysed, and an extended version of the theory of technological frames was developed to explain the variation in the technological and informational framing of information technologies found in the data.

Design/methodology/approach

Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHRs) are implemented globally to address challenges with an ageing population. However, firstly, little is known about age-related variation in PAEHR use, and secondly, user perceptions of the PAEHR technology and the health record information and how the technology and information–related perceptions are linked to each other. The purpose of this study is to investigate these two under-studied aspects of PAEHRs and propose a framework based on the theory of technological frames to support studying the second aspect, i.e. the interplay of information and technology–related perceptions.

Findings

The results suggest that younger respondents were more likely to be interested in PAEHR contents for general interest. However, they did not value online access to the information as high as older ones. Older respondents were instead inclined to use medical records information to understand their health condition, prepare for visits, become involved in their own healthcare and think that technology has a much potential. Moreover, the oldest respondents were more likely to consider the information in PAEHRs useful and aimed for them but to experience the technology as inherently difficult to use.

Research limitations/implications

The sample excludes non-users and is not a representative sample of the population of Sweden. However, although the data contain an unknown bias, there are no specific reasons to believe that it would differently affect the survey's age groups.

Practical implications

Age should be taken into account as a key factor that influences perceptions of the usefulness of PAEHRs. It is also crucial to consider separately patients' views of PAEHRs as a technology and of the information contained in the EHR when developing and evaluating existing and future systems and information provision for patients.

Social implications

This study contributes to bridging the gap between information behaviour and systems design research by showing how the theory of technological frames complemented with parallel informational frames to provide a potentially powerful framework for elucidating distinct conceptualisations of (information) technologies and the information they mediate. The empirical findings show how information and information technology needs relating to PAEHRs vary according to age. In contrast to the assumptions in much of the earlier work, they need to be addressed separately.

Originality/value

Few earlier studies focus on (1) age-related variation in PAEHR use and (2) user perceptions of the PAEHR technology and the health record information and how the technology and information–related perceptions are linked to each other.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

Farhan Ahmad and Isto Huvila

While there is relatively plenty of evidence for the positive impact of communication on the perceptions of organizational change, how organizational changes affect…

Abstract

Purpose

While there is relatively plenty of evidence for the positive impact of communication on the perceptions of organizational change, how organizational changes affect information sharing is relatively unknown. The purpose of this paper is to investigate if a favorable perception of ongoing organizational changes has a positive impact on information sharing and whether trust mediates this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire (n=317) was administered to the employees of a large Finnish multinational organization. Partial least square structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses based on earlier research findings.

Findings

The results show that a positive perception of recent organizational changes improves information sharing both directly and indirectly, mediated by trust. Consequently, when changes are perceived negatively, employees recoil from information sharing which is known to have negative implications for organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected in a single organization. The nature of the specific changes in the studied organization and its particularities undoubtedly had an effect on respondents’ perceptions.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to organizational information management research by elaborating on the relationship between organizational changes and interpersonal information sharing between employees. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first quantitative study confirming the impact of the perception of organizational changes on employee information-sharing behavior.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Isto Huvila, Aylin Ilhan and Isabelle Dorsch

Abstract

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Jannica Heinström, Farhan Ahmad, Isto Huvila and Stefan Ek

This study introduces sense of coherence (SOC) as a factor in information sharing at the workplace.

Abstract

Purpose

This study introduces sense of coherence (SOC) as a factor in information sharing at the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by a survey conducted on 311 respondents in a multinational organization, and analyzed using partial least square structural equation modelling.

Findings

SOC influenced information sharing both directly and indirectly as mediated by trust and employee learning orientation. Trust, moreover, influenced receiving information more strongly than sending it, while employee learning orientation more strongly affected sending information.

Originality/value

The findings underline the importance of a holistic understanding of information sharing, including individual differences and employee well-being.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 73 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Isto Huvila

Considering the perceived significance of librarians and information experts as professional information seekers and information seeking educators and of the institutional…

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2246

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the perceived significance of librarians and information experts as professional information seekers and information seeking educators and of the institutional setting of information work, very little is known about the information practices of librarians and information professionals, their contexts and implications for libraries and their users. The aim of this study is to explore the information interactions of library professionals within and in relation to the context of the setting of the library.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a qualitative case study of a large North European city library. Material was collected using information seeking diaries, interviews and ethnographic observation in the library space.

Findings

The information practices of librarians are contextual to the setting of the library within which the meeting of the assumptions of library users, of the use of that particular system plays a significant role. The systemic interplay of librarians, library users and other parts of the system constrains the breadth of the available information at libraries, but at the same time, keeping to a particular set of shared norms and practices of library use also facilitates the use of the system.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited by the fact that they are based on an individual case study.

Practical implications

The systemic nature of library and its reproduction in a process of structuration underlines the need to develop information services in libraries from a holistic perspective that takes into account the practical implications of the shared norms and assumptions of how a library should work.

Originality/value

There is little earlier research on the information practices of library and information professionals, particularly with specific reference to its implications for libraries and their users.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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