Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Collaborative information seeking (CIS)


"In the modern organization, work is increasingly organized around teams. One important aspect of collaborative team work is information seeking. However, there is little empirical understanding of how team members collaborate to find needed information. The purpose of this research is to better understand collaborative information seeking (CIS) through a qualitative field study of patient care team members in the emergency department of a rural, regional hospital.

The study found that most CIS activities occur because of an information breakdown. The study also detailed CIS triggers, mechanisms used to collaborate, and questions that lead to collaboration.

Specifically, team members collaborated when (1) information was not easily accessible, (2) information need was complex, and (3) information seeker lacked the expertise needed for the situation. The results also showed that the main source of information was most often an informal source, and that collaborations took place in two distinct ways: through face-to-face discussion and through the use of technology. Furthermore, the findings pointed to three types of questions that lead to collaboration -- patient specific, organizational, and plan of care.

This research helps us better understand the phenomena of CIS. It also identifies ways to better facilitate team members working together effectively and to design information systems that support their work. For example, information should be "pushed" to the seeker at the time it is needed. Additionally, technological support mechanisms can help reduce the negative effects of an interruptive workplace. Lastly, systems must support the function and the day-to-day activities surrounding the function"--Abstract, page iii.


Reddy, Madhu

Committee Member(s)

Hall, Richard H.
Luechtefeld, Ray


Business and Information Technology

Degree Name

M.S. in Information Science and Technology


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2005


x, 55 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 51-54).


© 2005 Patricia Ruma Spence, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Human information processing
Medical informatics
Information retrieval
Teams in the workplace -- Data processing

Thesis Number

T 8859

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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