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BEYOND THE BOUNDARY - AN INFORMATION PERSPECTIVE ON THE ROLE OF THE GATEKEEPER IN THE ORGANIZATION

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Abstract

Much has been written about information gatekeepers, mostly describing how gatekeepers function within organizations. There has been less consideration of the gatekeeper's activities beyond the organization's boundary, though the gathering of external information is fundamental to gatekeeping. Stuart Macdonald and Christine Williams examine gatekeeping from an information perspective, starting with external information and following it into the organization. With only primitive networking and a range of occasional contacts in the outside world, the gatekeeper is something of a scavenger of external information. The gatekeeper certainly transfers information from the external environment to colleagues within the organization, but primary interest is in personal use of the information gathered. Seniority within the organization may allow the gatekeeper the latitude to function in ways that would not be tolerated in more junior employees. The article is wholly concerned with informal gatekeeping and concludes that organizations may condone or even inhibit such activity, but are constrained by the nature of information, and of organization itself, from encouraging it

Topics: HF, T, HD28
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:21031
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