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Discovering Information Behavior in Sense Making; Time and Timing

By  and Paul Solomon and Paul Solomon


This study used the methods of ethnography of commu- work planning process (WPP). In short, the interest was nication to explore the information behavior in sense in discovering how the individuals separately and in con-making of participants in the annual work planning of a sort made sense of their situation and in making sense unit of a public agency. To capture the dynamic time how they defined, sought, and used information.aspects of the work-planning task, the study continued There are many choices in conducting and reportingover three annual iterations of this work-planning pro-cess. The term sense making is used to convey the parti- such a study. Research is a creative process that builds cipants ' characterization of their information behavior. on a foundation of interests, ideas, anomalies, questions, This article explores the sense making that took place and intuitions; takes advantage of opportunities; andfrom the point of view of time and timing. The analysis works around barriers and constraints. Research is also arevealed broad patterns of repetitive action that struc-tured the work-planning process and limited or focused struggle to balance the necessity for summary and reduc-future action. Data was repeatedly collected early in the tion with the need to communicate enough about methods annual process, requiring subsequent and repeated up- and interpretations to allow readers to judge, while, hope-dating and veriĀ®cation. A computer database of project fully, encouraging them to develop their own insights.information focused data collection and processing on The research process itself is framed by the decisions thatdetails that were never used and neglected others that required independent data collection, processing, and researchers make regarding their questions of concern an

Year: 1997
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