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The IM research field in view of a”rational choice” paradigm and an “institutional theory” paradigm

Author(s): Nowé, Karen

Journal: Svensk Biblioteksforskning
ISSN 0284-4354

Volume: 15;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: IM Research | information management | rational choice theory | new institutionalism

This article studies the field of information management research in the light of the differences between approaches building on a “rational choice” epistemology and (new) institutional approaches. I broaden the definition of what may be included in information management research somewhat so that parts of the “INSU” (Information Seeking and Use) research field are included, and use texts from organisational theory as well as from political science to explain the differences in epistemology. The first part is devoted to defining the research field, the second part to studying the underlying epistemological assumptions. The broader project into from which this article is derived is my dissertation on how, and why, voluntary peace organisations in Sweden manage information, where some of the ideas discussed here will be used in a chapter on earlier research. Since the article first was devised as a course paper for a course on LIS research in Borås, the literature used mirrors the course literature.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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