Thursday, October 29, 2020

The place and role of workplace information literacy in a corporate environment #FOILresearch #GlobalMILweek

 More blogging on the second FOIL webinar , entitled Masters’ Class: Emerging Voices in Media & Information Literacy Research, hosted by Dr Drew Whitworth. The second presentation was:

 - Tsveta Rafaylova (working at RSM UK, dissertation submitted to University College London): The place and role of workplace information literacy in a corporate environment: exploring the information literacy capabilities of knowledge workers in a professional services firm  

She started by explaining her motivation for the research, wanting to focus on the less-studied workplace context and being encouraged to focus on her own workplace. Her research question was: what does Information Literacy look like for knowledge workers in a tax and accounting firm? She focused on workers in the tax faculty, and used Lloyd's 2017 IL model. She got 149 questionnaires returned (20% of those workers) and did four interviews. Useful in recruiting responses was the presentation of the research as a collaboration between the Information Department and the tax Knowledge Manager. The findings were shared with the tax faculty afterwards. Rafaylova identified some limitations of the research (e.g. that is was mainly descriptive) but interesting findings emegred. The first finding was the social processing of information, with junior colleagues reaching out to colleagues more than senior colleagues did. Information processing emerged as a shared team activity. The second set of finding related to challenges and barriers. These did not seem attached to particular to job roles, but were specific to the tax work context. Challenges included assessing internal information and finding andd applying external information. Because tax work involves interpretation and judgement, just finding the information is not the end of the story, it has to be combined with the worker's knowledge and applied to the specific problem. The process of acquiring knowhow and sharing and guiding colleagues has become more difficult in a working-from-home situation. One of the recommendations was to focus more on the IL of junior tax employees.

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