quarta-feira, outubro 15, 2003

The development of the information management research area

Macevičiūtė, Elena e Wilson, Tom (2002). The development of the information management research area in Information Research, 7 (3)

"The ideas of the information society and of information as the key resource for the development of new industries emerged in the 1970s and 80s. In the late 1970s, the US Paperwork Reduction Act (Commission on Federal Paperwork, 1977) led to a recognition that the production of information by bidders for government contracts was an unbearable cost, and the cost of handling that information at the Federal government level was also onerous.
Out of this emerged the idea that information is a resource. That is, it has potential value for an organisation and, as a result, what information resources exist should be known to the organisation (information mapping became a buzz-phrase of the time), that the costs of acquiring, storing, manipulating and using information needed to be known, and that organisational budgets should recognise these costs.
The consequences of the emergence of Information Management for research were significant: the economics of information, which, until then, had been a relatively insignificant part of economics, attained a new importance. Previously, economics had factored information out of its equations - in the market, everyone was assumed to have perfect information about that market. That is manifestly untrue, and a new field - asymmetric information - was introduced into economics.
Secondly, the information content of information systems became important: previously, data bases were just that - they consisted largely of the numbers management needs to control an organisation, such as production figures in a manufacturing organisation. The recognition that most information produced in an organisation is text rather than numbers led to work on building systems that could handle text, and a greater interest in the information systems community of the role of information retrieval.
Thirdly, it was recognised that effective systems need to be built according to the needs of the information user, rather than the convenience of the information producer, if the information is to be presented in the most appropriate way and organised in the most accessible fashion.
Finally information policy and information strategy became key terms and the need to have such policies and strategies, at national, local and organisational level was recognised.
Four decades have passed since the emergence of information management as a research field. During this period it has been developed by scholars and practitioners all over the world. In addition, a tremendous change in information handling and communication technology has occurred. Empirical research in the areas of economics, management, organisational theory, information systems, library and information science served as a basis for further theoretical development in these fields. All this had a significant influence on information management work and research. The last decade was especially interesting as many changes that have been accumulated throughout years have manifested themselves explicitly and were rooted in the academic environment.
The aim of our article is to reveal the change of the information management research area during this past decade (from 1989 to 2000).
The article consists of the background overview of the discussions about information management and information management research contents, description of the method of research article analysis, presentation and discussion of the results, and conclusion."

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