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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Miriam Farber and Snunith Shoham

Discusses the changing relationships between information professionals – vendors, database producers, searchers – and end‐users, during the last three decades. Most of the…

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Abstract

Discusses the changing relationships between information professionals – vendors, database producers, searchers – and end‐users, during the last three decades. Most of the time, the industry was quite vague as to who exactly the end‐users were, and consequently several different definitions were used to describe the target audience of online information systems. The needs and capabilities of the end‐user were measured conveniently through the reactions of libraries’ and information centres’ personnel who were not always the most suitable sources. The concept of the “end‐user” is examined from the beginning of the online industry in the 1970s through the menu driven systems of the 1980s and the role of the compact disk in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Alon E Hasgall and Snunith Shoham

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between the use of digital applications (DAs) in the daily life of organizational workers, and the workers’ professional…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between the use of digital applications (DAs) in the daily life of organizational workers, and the workers’ professional self-efficacy.

Design/methodology/approach

A hypothesis was tested that the digital literacy of organizational workers is positively correlated with their professional self-efficacy. To test the hypothesis, 300 Israeli organizational workers filled online questionnaires that assessed their daily pattern of DA usage (both during and after working hours) and their self-perceived professional efficacy. A linear regression analysis was performed to identify correlations between the frequency (one dimension) and effectiveness (three dimensions) of DA usage and the workers’ self-perceived professional efficacy (three dimensions).

Findings

The three dimensions of the DA usage effectiveness (diversity of the DA used, diversity of the means and ease of access to the DA) were significantly and positively correlated with all three dimensions of professional self-efficacy (functional autonomy, work effectiveness and personal knowledge sharing). In contrast, the frequency of DA usage was not correlated with any of the three dimensions of professional self-efficacy.

Practical implications

High digital literacy allows rapid and effective retrieval of specific networked content and an accessible means of multimedia communication. According to the ecological model of organizational knowledge management, knowledge develops through diverse interactions between workers and through their ability to retrieve and share knowledge. The findings of this study support this model and indicate that high digital literacy, manifested through easy access and diverse use of DA, increases professional self-efficacy and knowledge sharing and, thereby, the stability of the organization. Managers should thus encourage workers’ digital literacy by allowing convenient access to a wide range of DA, both during and after working hours, to increase the organizational ability to adapt to complex and rapidly changing environments.

Originality/value

DA are innovative tools that were only recently developed. This is the first study to characterize the relationship between the use of DA in daily life and the vocational behavior of organizational workers.

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Alon Hasgall and Snunith Shoham

The purpose of this article is to discuss the necessity of access to the personal knowledge of each employee in order to cope with requirements in an organization's

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to discuss the necessity of access to the personal knowledge of each employee in order to cope with requirements in an organization's dynamic environment. The research question posed is which type of organizational structure, working environment and management style is most conducive to this access.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was a qualitative study, allowing for examination of behavior in the organizational reality as is, by analyzing interviews and observations of about 60 employees in six private, government and public organizations. The research analysis was based on five criteria regarding performance of a complex adaptive system (CAS).

Findings

There are indications that in organizations where a higher number of CAS characteristics existed, employees were better able to provide immediate solutions to the dynamic requirements. To allow this, managers should focus more on the synchronization of organizational processes and less on the control and the direct command of their subordinates.

Research limitations/implications

Organizations in a dynamic environment require a change in their structure and management method to resemble in line with CAS characteristics. In a CAS organization employees are autonomous, applying personal knowledge in developing immediate and systematic responses to change.

Originality/value

The research shows that the effective use of personal knowledge does not readily occur in hierarchical organizations. Knowledge management in organizations in the knowledge era requires a greater focus on process management than on people management.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Alon Hasgall and Snunith Shoham

In a competitive business environment, organizations must leverage their resources efficiently in order to provide system‐wide solutions and maintain the standards all

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Abstract

Purpose

In a competitive business environment, organizations must leverage their resources efficiently in order to provide system‐wide solutions and maintain the standards all customers expect. To do so, the resources must be integrated; however, the integration of information and resources within organizations has thus far not produced satisfactory results. In contrast, it has been found that efficient, ongoing and timely transfer of information is conducted over the internet. This research seeks to examine whether the use of internet technology within organizations can indeed enhance and streamline the ability of employees to function as fractals in complex organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is a qualitative study, allowing for the examination of behavior in the organizational reality as is, by analyzing interviews and observations of over 60 employees in different organizations.

Findings

It is found that the ability of a digital social network to create immediate system‐wide solutions, together with a management approach that transforms the organization into a complex adaptive system, allows employees to behave as fractals – i.e. to share applied‐knowledge, to take responsibility for performance and management of the processes, to update their superiors, and to develop self‐management abilities at the local level.

Originality/value

Social networks in organizations should be viewed as a shared “knowledge” system. Use of the network is “natural” and less rational and synchronized up front. However, it must be backed by a relevant management culture that enables all employees to serve as fractals in a complex adaptive system. In this manner, employees can contribute personally to work processes, determine their needs, and receive credit.

Details

VINE, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Maayan Zhitomirsky‐Geffet, Judit Bar‐Ilan, Yitzchak Miller and Snunith Shoham

The purpose of this paper is to develop a general framework that incorporates collaborative social tagging with a novel ontology scheme conveying multiple perspectives.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a general framework that incorporates collaborative social tagging with a novel ontology scheme conveying multiple perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a framework where multiple users tag the same object (an image in this case) and an ontology is extended based on these tags while being tolerant of different points of view. Both the tagging and the ontological models are intentionally designed to suit the multi‐perspective environment. The paper develops a method based on a set of rules that determine how to associate new concepts to predefined perspectives (in addition to determining relations to topics or other concepts as typically done in previous research) and how to insert and maintain multiple perspectives.

Findings

This case study experiment, with a set of selected annotated images, indicates the soundness of the proposed ontological model.

Originality/value

The proposed framework characterises the underlying processes for controlled collaborative development of a multi‐perspective ontology and its application to improve image annotation, searching and browsing. The significance of this research is that it focuses on exploring the impact of creating a constantly evolving ontology based on collaborative tagging. The paper is not aware of any other work that has attempted to devise such an environment and to study its dynamics.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Judit Bar‐Ilan, Maayan Zhitomirsky‐Geffet, Yitzchak Miller and Snunith Shoham

The purpose of this study was to compare the ease of use and the effectiveness of several interfaces for retrieving tagged images.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to compare the ease of use and the effectiveness of several interfaces for retrieving tagged images.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of participants were randomly assigned to one of four retrieval interfaces: tag search in a search box; faceted tag search in a search box; selecting terms from the tag cloud of all the tags in the database; and selecting concepts from an ontology created from the tags assigned to the images. Each interface was tested by 21 users.

Findings

The results show that the highest recall on average was achieved by users of the ontology interface, for seven out of the ten tasks, however, users were more satisfied with the textbox‐based search than the cloud or the ontology.

Research limitations/implications

The experiment was rather specific, and more studies are needed in order to generalize the findings.

Originality/value

With the widespread use of tagging on the web it is of importance to examine whether tagging enables resource discovery. This study shows that in addition to the tags, the retrieval interface also influences user satisfaction and retrieval success.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2007

Snunith Shoham and Sarah Kaufman Strauss

The main goals of this study are identifying the information needs of new North American immigrants to Israel and to ascertain which channels of information are used by…

Abstract

Purpose

The main goals of this study are identifying the information needs of new North American immigrants to Israel and to ascertain which channels of information are used by the immigrants before and after immigration to try to satisfy their information needs.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was used for this study. Qualitative interviews were implemented as the primary strategy for data with the application of the grounded theory method for analysis.

Findings

General information needs categories included: housing, schooling, health, banking and finances, drivers licenses, government‐related issues, legal issues and practical information. Personal information needs related to problems of “split” or prior immigration, changing over professional licenses, starting a business, children with special needs, and alternative medicine. Many of these needs were satisfied either prior to immigration or during the absorption process while others were left open leaving the immigrants with gaps in their knowledge, feelings of uncertainty and, at times, anxiety. During the preparations for immigration the greatest source of information came from the internet. After immigration, during the absorption process, word‐of‐mouth and personal contacts (social networks) were the main sources for the immigrants to satisfy their information needs.

Research limitations/implications

Additional research regarding immigration and immigrants from all different backgrounds is needed. Such research will help us learn more about other specific group's information needs and information seeking behavior.

Practical implications

By learning and studying the information needs of immigrant's governments and immigration organizations can have a better understanding of how to assist immigrants have a successful integration into their new society.

Originality/value

Prospective immigrants, governments and immigration organizations can gain a deeper understanding of immigrant information needs and the channels used to satisfy those needs.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 5 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Lynne Porat and Snunith Shoham

The recent establishment of academic colleges in Israel not only has affected the make‐up of Israeli higher education, it also has affected university libraries…

Abstract

The recent establishment of academic colleges in Israel not only has affected the make‐up of Israeli higher education, it also has affected university libraries, particularly the interlibrary loan (ILL) departments. This article describes a study that characterised the ILL borrowing practices of Israeli college libraries in general and, in particular, those of libraries that send the majority of their requests to universities. It also identified the disciplines of college library ILL requests and determined that there is a connection to the disciplines prevalent in their own collections. In addition, it identified the Israeli university libraries that received increased requests between 1997 and 2001, assessed the effects on them and identified changes implemented in interlibrary loan departments in order to deal with the increased demand.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Judit Bar‐Ilan, Snunith Shoham, Asher Idan, Yitzchak Miller and Aviv Shachak

This paper seeks to describe and discuss a tagging experiment involving images related to Israeli and Jewish cultural heritage. The aim of this experiment was to compare…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe and discuss a tagging experiment involving images related to Israeli and Jewish cultural heritage. The aim of this experiment was to compare freely assigned tags with values (free text) assigned to predefined metadata elements.

Design/methodology/approach

Two groups of participants were asked to provide tags for 12 images. The first group of participants was asked to assign descriptive tags to the images without guidance (unstructured tagging), while the second group was asked to provide free‐text values to predefined metadata elements (structured tagging).

Findings

The results show that on the one hand structured tagging provides guidance to the users, but on the other hand different interpretations of the meaning of the elements may worsen the tagging quality instead of improving it. In addition, unstructured tagging allows for a wider range of tags.

Research limitations/implications

The recommendation is to experiment with a system where the users provide both the tags and the context of these tags.

Originality/value

Unstructured tagging has become highly popular on the web, thus it is important to evaluate its merits and shortcomings compared to more conventional methods.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Tali Marcus and Snunith Shoham

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors related to the employee as an individual, that affect the quality and level of the individual’s assimilation of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors related to the employee as an individual, that affect the quality and level of the individual’s assimilation of knowledge (AOK) which is transmitted by way of organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

All subjects (317) of this research were employed at different positions in day camps of a social organization. The study examined the subjects’ AOK relating to the organization’s security and safety procedures. The variables examined in this study include: the employee’s organizational commitment; the employee’s perception of the organization’s culture; the employee’s perception of the advantage inherent in the security and safety information; the employee’s self-efficacy; and the employee’s motivation to assimilate the new knowledge.

Findings

The research variables explained a significant part (37 per cent) of the variance obtained with respect to assimilation and learning in the organization. The most powerful explanation for the variance in degree of implementation was the perception of the organization’s security and safety culture and the subject’s self-efficacy. Subjects’ perceived advantage from the knowledge did not make a significant contribution and motivation serves as a mediator but it does not mediate directly between the variables and AOK.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in a single organization. We recommend conducting similar studies in other organizations, including other types of organizations, to strengthen the conclusions which derive from our research. We also recommend that future research should use alternative methodologies (e.g. qualitative research and review of the results by experts) since other methodologies might reveal new facts that may have been uncovered in the use of the quantitative method applied in our research.

Practical implications

We recommend that an organization which strives to be a learning organization, should pay attention, inter alia, to factors relating to the employees themselves, and in particular: increasing the employees’ self-efficacy, clarifying the benefits to the employee of the transmitted knowledge; and bringing the organization’s values and culture into clearer focus for the employees.

Originality/value

The unique nature of our research model is twofold: first, the variables on which we have chosen to focus are different from other studies, and to our knowledge, the combination of these variables and the examination of these variables in relation to learning in the context of organizations have not been examined in other studies. Second, our model gauges the effects of an employee’s subjective perception with relation to his organization’s culture, his perceived advantage with regard to the subject-matter which he is learning and his self-assessed existing knowledge.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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