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Work-task types, stages, and information-seeking behavior of strategic planners

Work-task types, stages, and information-seeking behavior of strategic planners The purpose of this paper is to examine information-seeking behavior (ISB) of strategic planners in enterprise across different work-task types and stages.Design/methodology/approachA case study was conducted in a pharmaceutical company in China, labeled as T Company. One of the authors worked in the department of strategic planning of this company as an intern. The data were collected via participant observation and unstructured in-depth interviews. Open coding was performed to analyze the data.FindingsFour work-task stages were identified: project preparation, gathering, discovery and presentation, and strategy formulation. The results indicate that work-task types, work-task stages, and strategic planners’ work role or position affect their information needs, source selection, and seeking process. Task complexity, task familiarity, and task goal are of the most important task attributes that directly shape strategic planners’ ISB. Work role determines the extent to which strategic planners can access the information of the company. Internal information has priority, but external information is also important when internal information is not sufficient; both are equally important for strategic planning projects. Social media has been a very important channel to access, disseminate and share information. Workshops are an important approach to producing final project reports. Face-to-face discussion and information exchange play a critical role in the formulation of new strategies.Research limitations/implicationsThis is a case study with data collected from only one company in China. Some of the results may not be generalizable. However, it adds new knowledge to ISB research in enterprise, informs people how to provide better information services for strategic planners, and informs MBA education for students’ better information-seeking skills.Originality/valueThough myriad studies on ISB, little research has been done to examine strategic planners’ ISB from a business context, especially taking into account the effect of work-task types and stages. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Work-task types, stages, and information-seeking behavior of strategic planners

Journal of Documentation , Volume 75 (1): 22 – Jan 7, 2019

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References (52)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/jd-01-2018-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine information-seeking behavior (ISB) of strategic planners in enterprise across different work-task types and stages.Design/methodology/approachA case study was conducted in a pharmaceutical company in China, labeled as T Company. One of the authors worked in the department of strategic planning of this company as an intern. The data were collected via participant observation and unstructured in-depth interviews. Open coding was performed to analyze the data.FindingsFour work-task stages were identified: project preparation, gathering, discovery and presentation, and strategy formulation. The results indicate that work-task types, work-task stages, and strategic planners’ work role or position affect their information needs, source selection, and seeking process. Task complexity, task familiarity, and task goal are of the most important task attributes that directly shape strategic planners’ ISB. Work role determines the extent to which strategic planners can access the information of the company. Internal information has priority, but external information is also important when internal information is not sufficient; both are equally important for strategic planning projects. Social media has been a very important channel to access, disseminate and share information. Workshops are an important approach to producing final project reports. Face-to-face discussion and information exchange play a critical role in the formulation of new strategies.Research limitations/implicationsThis is a case study with data collected from only one company in China. Some of the results may not be generalizable. However, it adds new knowledge to ISB research in enterprise, informs people how to provide better information services for strategic planners, and informs MBA education for students’ better information-seeking skills.Originality/valueThough myriad studies on ISB, little research has been done to examine strategic planners’ ISB from a business context, especially taking into account the effect of work-task types and stages.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 7, 2019

Keywords: Strategic planning; Enterprise information seeking; Information-seeking behaviour; Strategic planners; Work-task stage; Work-task type

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