ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

Impact of a Corporate Merger on the Information Seeking Behaviors of Research Practioners

Sandra Hirsh, Jamie Dinkelacker

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


Over the Summer of 2002 groups of researchers from HP Labs and Compaq Labs began the long process of becoming a single research organization. Fundamental to productive research in a corporate setting are the practices and expectations regarding information seeking and collaboration. To this end, a survey research project was conducted that sampled researchers from selected labs of each pre-merger company regarding their usage of information sources and their preferred means of collaboration and information seeking. This paper presents partial findings from this larger study, focusing on information-seeking behaviors of these researchers. Findings suggested that the information seeking behavior of the participants was impacted by the unstable environment resulting from the recently completed merger and the process of integrating two research organizations. Participants relied heavily on the internet and other web-based resources, more so than on their colleagues inside the company. Participants made their selections of which information resources to use based on how little time it took them to track down the information as well as the authoritativeness of the sources.

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