Human information behaviour in conversation: Understanding the influence of informal conversation on learning in a political party

Susannah Hanlon, Julie McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. This paper explores information behaviour in the underrepresented but increasingly important area of informal conversations and their influence on learning within political parties. The application of an extended model on information behaviour in conversation, which arose from the initial research analysis, enabled more granulated interpretation of results. This facilitated greater understanding, through the information behaviour lens, of informal conversations and how they contribute to learning.
Method. Qualitative case-study of a political party.
Analysis. Template analysis was used, followed by the application of the emergent extended model of human information behaviour in conversation.
Results. Characteristics of informal conversation reflected the unique nature of the organisation. The extended model provided additional insights into context, information seeking and knowledge sharing during the conversations including motivations and affective factors, and outcomes from the conversations.
Conclusions. A key reason for engaging in informal conversation was the need to strengthen capacity to influence. Self-efficacy was increased through mutual support and engaging in information behaviours. Application of the extended information behaviour model confirmed that learning occurred during informal conversations at individual and group level. Additional research is needed to test the model further with political parties and their members before extending it to wider applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberisic2031
JournalInformation Research
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020
EventISIC, Information Behaviour Conference - University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020
http://www.isic2020.co.za/

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