An exploration of opportunities for a theory of information inadequacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

Abstract

Our everyday experiences show that the lack of needed information in various human affairs may give rise to consequences that we would like to avoid – e.g. the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia. However, we still do not have a coherent theoretical body that addresses such experiences of information inadequacy as this changes everything in respect to the current conception of the information society, where technology plays a central role. To this end, we provide an initial exploration of opportunities for such a theory: when needed information is not available in human affairs, for any reason. We start with diagnoses of five existing central theoretical bodies that constitute promising candidates to account for instances of information inadequacy. The results show though that these do not offer a comprehensive account for situations where needed information is missing. Secondly, an empirical investigation was conducted, utilizing grounded theory approach, where fifty cases of information inadequacy were analysed. This revealed a number of patterns of plausible causes of information inadequacies in human affairs, which offer a preliminary foundation for a future theory of information inadequacy. This result suggests that information inadequacies may be understood as various instances of information-lack and information-overflow. These two, in turn, include numerous factors that cause information inadequacies, ranging from political and cultural structures, through human individual capabilities, and ending with procedural set-ups and technological artefacts. We advocate that further research should be conducted to explore various instances of information inadequacy aimed to the formulation of a coherent theory.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects

Keywords

  • Information inadequacy, Information lack, Information management, Information needs, Information overload
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThis Changes Everything – ICT and Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationWhat Can We Do? - 13th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, HCC13 2018, Held at the 24th IFIP World Computer Congress, WCC 2018, Proceedings
EditorsKai Kimppa, Louise Leenen, Charles Ess, David Kreps
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages384-394
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783319996042
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Event13th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, HCC 2018 Held at the 24th IFIP World Computer Congress, WCC 2018 - Poznan, Poland
Duration: 2018 Sep 192018 Sep 21

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume537
ISSN (Print)1868-4238

Conference

Conference13th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, HCC 2018 Held at the 24th IFIP World Computer Congress, WCC 2018
CountryPoland
CityPoznan
Period2018/09/192018/09/21