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University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal

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Information seeking and communication behaviour of Kenya railways engineers

Cephas Odini

Abstract


The paper discusses the findings of a study which sought insight into engineer's information seeking and communication behaviour at Kenya Railways Corporation. The study employed a user centered approach to information seeking and use unlike many past studies which were system centered. It focused broadly and considered the user, his functional role, his formal and informal information seeking and communication processes, and the influence of the environment in which information seeking and communication takes place. The information seeking patterns derived from the data collected in interviews with engineers were compared in different ways in accordance with the recommendations contained in the grounded theory style of qualitative analysis. Interesting findings were found on the ways in which information needs were generated and perceived by engineers, in which the engineers select resources for information searching and also in the ways in which information was used. The study concludes that information seeking and communication behaviour of engineers should not be viewed solely from the perspective of formal documentation but should be viewed mainly from the perspective of the engineer and his work tasks which are responsible for generating information needs which can best be satisfied through personal contacts and informal documentation.

University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal Vol. 7(2) 2005: 98-111



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/udslj.v7i2.26640
AJOL African Journals Online