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Information for Action: a study of Information & Knowledge in the Organisational Environment within the Context of Information Systems & Technology

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dc.contributor.author Bacon, C James
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-20T01:20:04Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-01T02:30:41Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-20T01:20:04Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-01T02:30:41Z
dc.date.copyright 1996
dc.date.issued 1996
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/27696
dc.description.abstract This thesis is concerned with a search for and the development of a useful form of information in the organisational environment. In particular, it seeks to identify a form of information that supports executive action. The problem addressed is that much information in organisations is of marginal use, or at least is frequently less than useful. Therefore, given the central importance of information in the 'information economy', some way needs to be found that proceeds from theory to practice in addressing the problem. But the need is to address all information in organisations, even though the emphasis in this work is upon that information which is or might be facilitated by information systems and/or technology. The idea is that, to the degree a useful form of information for supporting executive action can be determined, then an awareness of that form of information may lead to an enhancement in the development, management, and use of information in the the organisation(s) concerned. The idea is simple, but its unfolding is complex and divergent. The thesis proceeds in stages, or sections. Following a general overview it proceeds to an analysis of the nature of information itself. This section concludes that there are only three essential characteristics or properties of/in information. These are: (1) syntactical structure (2) semantic meaning, and (3) context. All the other characteristics, such as relevance, quality, and value, are variables. The following section then looks at how executives, managers and knowledge-workers work, and how they use information. It discusses the challenges they face in using information such as information overload and articulating information needs. These are challenges which any form of action-supportive information should aim to address. A key chapter in the section is that on the emerging action perspective. This chapter provides evidence of a growing belief that the dominant actuality in executive activity is action, more than decision-making. To this extent, therefore, it is action that needs to be the focus of information development, management and use, more than decision-making. The thesis then moves on to consider present theory and notions concerning information, and finds that none of them appear to satisfy the real needs in executive work. So-called information theory, for example, is not about information, but about telegraphic signals, and there is little evidence of its usefulness in executive work. Based on the preceding sections, the next section develops a new theory of information; a theory of action-supportive information. It identifies, articulates and analyses those information variables or ‘dimensions’ that would appear to be necessary in any flow or source of information that pretends to the support of executive action. The section concludes by proposing a new construct, namely kinetic information, which represents the fusing together of these variables, in what aims to be a useful form of information in support of executive action. Before proceeding to the culminating stage of testing the usefulness of this kinetic information construct, an intervening section is devoted to the challenges in doing research in IST, and in carrying out this present work. It explains a number of things relative to the way the testing is undertaken including, for example, its eclectic approach. The following section lays out the test framework or process, together with the 15 test instruments used. Five different tests are then described, wherein the proposition, hypothesis and construct in the theory of action-supportive information are addressed. It then presents the finding that the proposition, hypothesis and construct are validated, and that the kinetic information form does appear useful in realising information that has action utility in organisations. Lastly, given that information is never complete, knowledge is never final, and no theory is ever proven, the final section of this work considers further research that would be useful. It also discusses an expert/group system to facilitate action-supportive information. Further, it considers brief proposals for: (a) a re-defined function for information & knowledge management, and (b) a new core course on information in organisations, for the field of IST. en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Information for Action: a study of Information & Knowledge in the Organisational Environment within the Context of Information Systems & Technology en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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