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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Hanna Silvola and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors examine auditors' attempts to promote sustainability assurance and establish it as a practice requiring the professional involvement of auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006) and institutional logics (Thornton, 2002; Thornton et al., 2012) as the method theories, the authors examine interview data and a variety of documentary evidence collected in Finland, a small society characterized by social and environmental values, beliefs in functioning institutions and public trust in companies behaving responsibly.

Findings

With this study, the authors make two main contributions to extant literature. First, the authors illustrate the limits that society-level logics related to corporate social responsibility, together with the undermining or rejected institutional work of other agents, place especially on the political and cultural work undertaken by auditors. Second, the study responds to Power's (2003) call for country-specific studies by exploring a rather unique context, Finland, where societal trust in companies is arguably stronger than in many other countries and this trust appears to affect how actors perceive the need for sustainability assurance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few accounting studies that combines institutional logics and institutional work to study the uptake of a management fashion, in this case sustainability assurance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Ina Fourie

Abstract

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

Mark McCallon

Abstract

Details

Collection Building, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Paula R. Dempsey

The purpose of this study is to learn what factors liaison librarians in academic research libraries consider in determining whether to refer chat reference patrons to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to learn what factors liaison librarians in academic research libraries consider in determining whether to refer chat reference patrons to subject specialists.

Design/methodology/approach

Subject specialists were asked what policies guided their decisions to refer to a specialist and then assessed unreferred chat session transcripts both within and outside their specializations to determine need for a referral.

Findings

Few respondents were guided by formal policies. Contrary to an initial hypothesis, subject area was not a key factor in referring chat. A broader set of criteria included reference interviewing, provision of relevant resources and information literacy instruction. Respondents valued both the depth that subject specialists can provide to reference interactions and the ability of a skilled generalist to support information literacy.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are most applicable to large, public doctoral universities with liaison librarian programs. Assignment of respondents to subject specialist categories was complicated by their broad range of background and expertise.

Practical implications

The study contributes new understanding of referrals to subject specialists who have potential to guide development of formal referral policies in academic library virtual reference services.

Originality/value

The study is the first empirical examination of chat reference referral decisions.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Idunn Bøyum, Katriina Byström and Nils Pharo

The purpose of this study is to investigate why users turn to the university library’s reference desk and whether librarians make use of the opportunity to conduct…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate why users turn to the university library’s reference desk and whether librarians make use of the opportunity to conduct reference interviews to disclose any unexpressed information needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents the results from a qualitative exploration study where interactions between librarians and users were observed in authentic situations at the reference desk and analyzed using a modified version of Radford and Connaway’s (2013) categorization of inquiries.

Findings

Most inquiries were seemingly easy to answer and pertained to collections and procedures in the library. Lending out desk supplies accounted for a high proportion of the activity. Only a small number of requests were subject-oriented and reference interview techniques were only used in 5% of the recorded inquiries. This means that the users’ information needs were not probed in the vast majority of the interactions.

Research limitations/implications

The study is exploratory and mirrors the activity that takes place in one specific library. The low number of reference interview techniques used may indicate a lack of interest in users’ information needs, which signifies a risk of the reference desk being reduced to an arena for instrumental and superficial interaction between librarians and users.

Originality/value

This study illustrates current developments in work at a physical library desk. Few recent studies address face-to-face interactions between librarians and users.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Zsófia Tóth, Peter Naudé, Stephan C. Henneberg and Carlos Adrian Diaz Ruiz

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms develop and maintain social capital through business-to-business (B2B) relationships, less is known about how they signal their participation in business networks to develop this social capital. Therefore, this paper conceptualizes B2B references, in particular corporate online references (COR), as a tool through which firms “borrow” attractiveness from their business network. Through the lens of structural social capital theory, COR is shown to capture advantages related to interconnectedness between firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on a two-step qualitative and quantitative research design. First, the authors undertook a qualitative study that reports on the COR practices of senior business managers. A quantitative study then uses social network analysis (SNA) to audit a digital business network comprising 1,098 firms in a metropolitan area of the UK, referencing to each other through their corporate websites using COR.

Findings

The analyses find that COR practices contribute to building structural social capital in networks through strategic signaling. Firms do so by managing B2B references to craft strategic signals, using five steps: requesting, granting, curating, coding and decoding references. While the existing literature on business marketing portrays reference management as a routine and operational management practice, this investigation conceptualizes reference management, in particular COR, as a strategic activity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use SNA to represent B2B references in the form of COR as a network, which overlaps with (but is not entirely identical to) the business network. Further, the study re-conceptualizes reference management as a strategic signaling activity that leverages the firm’s participation in business networks to build structural social capital by borrowing attractiveness of prestigious business partners that leverages existing structural social capital. Finally, the paper coins and conceptualizes COR as an exemplar of referencing management and offers propositions for further research.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2020

Jeppe Nicolaisen and Tove Faber Frandsen

Citation analysis as a method for studying scientific communication is frequently criticized for being based on biased citation practices. Questionable motives for the…

Abstract

Purpose

Citation analysis as a method for studying scientific communication is frequently criticized for being based on biased citation practices. Questionable motives for the reference selection have been suggested including the claim that authors tend to cite hot papers in order to show-off. In this study, the authors investigate the claim that authors tend to cite the recent literature in order to show-off.

Design/methodology/approach

Following Moed and Garfield (2004), the authors investigate the claim by analyzing the proportion of recent references as a function of the length of the reference lists of citing papers. The authors analyze reference lists of citing papers in the fields of biomedical engineering, economics, medicine, psychology and library and information science between 2010 and 2019. From each of these fields, a number of journals are included in the analysis to represent the field. In total, 42 journals are included in the analyses comprising a selection of almost 65,000 journal articles. The proportion of recent references is calculated using two citation windows. The proportion of recent references as a function of the length of the reference lists is calculated through simple linear regressions to predict the share of recent references based on the number of references.

Findings

The results of the linear regressions indicate that in most cases, there are a statistically significant relationship between the share of recent references and the number of references. This study’s results show that when authors display selective referencing behavior, references to the recent literature tend to be only marginally increased, and some results even display the opposite tendency (marginally overciting the older literature).

Originality/value

This study of the claim that authors tend to cite the recent literature in order to show-off does not confirm the hypothesis.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Karlene T. Clark, Holly M. Gabriel and Kristen Borysewicz

This paper aims to describe both the development of a peer research consultant program – using student assistants to staff the reference desk with minimal supervision…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe both the development of a peer research consultant program – using student assistants to staff the reference desk with minimal supervision while providing high-quality research assistance to their undergraduate peers, and the steps taken to create buy-in for the program from campus and librarians.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors provide a description of peer reference services and describe how a remodel of the library building facilitated a redesign of services. The paper covers the process of developing program guidelines, securing funding, expectations of peer research consultants, the training process and lessons learned from a medium-sized academic library.

Findings

The findings after the first year demonstrate that undergraduates are highly skilled at providing high-quality reference services when provided with quality training and support. In addition, undergraduate students are now seeking out peer researchers for assistance with research items such as topic formation, keyword development in databases and proper citations.

Research limitations/implications

No formal research or assessment of the program has been completed as of this time.

Practical implications

Well-trained Peer Research Consultants (PRCs) provide valued assistance to librarians in freshman composition classes, at the Ask Us reference desk, and to their peers. The program has allowed librarians to provide more outreach to their subject areas.

Social implications

Students prefer going to their peers for research assistance rather than a professional librarian when given the choice. The training the PRCs are provided by librarians provides credibility and trust, which encourages undergraduate students to approach PRCs for assistance.

Originality/value

This paper draws on multiple iterations of peer reference models to create an original program, involving training student employees to provide reference services at a paraprofessional level, as well as providing the methodology for other academic libraries to develop and launch a similar program.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Brady Lund

This paper aims to present an overview of the history of communication research and theory in reference services literature and to discuss the potential of one relatively…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of the history of communication research and theory in reference services literature and to discuss the potential of one relatively recent-emerging theory of communication (anxiety-uncertainty management theory) to describe and mitigate breakdowns in reference communication.

Design/methodology/approach

An overview and discussion of existing literature and communication-based theories of library reference services is presented.

Findings

This paper identifies and describes anxiety-uncertainty management theory as a lens through which to view communication breakdowns during library reference transactions. The concepts behind the theory and articulated as well as its insights for reference librarians.

Originality/value

This is the first article to discuss the anxiety-uncertainty management theory to examine communication breakdowns in library reference transactions.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Sandra E. Cha, Stephanie J. Creary and Laura Morgan Roberts

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references

Abstract

Purpose

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references – face-to-face encounters in which their race is referenced by a White colleague in a comment, question or joke. Identity references can be interpreted by a Black colleague in a variety of ways (e.g. as hostile and insulting or well-intentioned, even flattering). Identity references can derail the building of relationships across difference, but under certain conditions may open the door for deeper understanding and connection. The conceptual framework in this article delineates conditions under which an identity reference may elicit an initial negative reaction, yet, when engaged directly, may lead to generative experiences and promote higher connection and learning in relationships across difference.

Design/methodology/approach

This article builds theory on identity references by incorporating relevant research on race, identity, diversity, attribution and interpersonal relationships at work.

Findings

The framework identifies a common precursor to identity references and three factors that are likely to influence the attribution a Black person makes for a White colleague's identity reference. It then describes how, based on that attribution, a Black person is likely to respond to the White referencer, and how that response is likely to affect their interpersonal relationship over time.

Originality/value

By explicating how a single identity reference can have significant implications for relationships across difference, the framework deepens understanding of how race affects the development of interpersonal relationships between Black and White colleagues at work. In doing so, this article advances research on race, diversity, workplace relationships and positive organizational scholarship.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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