AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Technology Use in Meetings: Information Handling & Polychronicity

Lisa Kleinman

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


In todayís workplaces, it is common for people to be using a portable technology (e.g. laptops and mobile phones) while simultaneously working on something else. For example, people glance at email while on a telephone conference call and during face-to-face meetings people use laptops to look up information, take notes, send an instant message or any other myriad of possible tasks. This continuous use of portable technologies throughout the work day and across different activities poses interesting and challenging questions for assessing information needs and uses for people in these contexts.

An individualís information needs and uses when multitasking with technology now extends to cover not only the activities of the face-to-face situation, but also includes the information environment of the technology too. Further complicating matters is the fact that the information needs and uses can be both interrelated between the face-to-face and technological contexts and/or completely separate from each other. An example of interrelated information use can occur when a comment spoken out loud in a meeting prompts someone to turn to technology to provide additional knowledge. When information needs are divergent, the user may be simultaneously listening to what is being said in a meeting while holding an electronic conversation with someone else. Using interviews with 15 office workers, this research examines information needs and uses of individuals in face-to-face meetings who are using technology. The specific questions of interest are as follows:

(1) What are the information needs of technology multitaskers in face-to-face meetings? (2) What are the group factors that influence information use in this meeting context? (3) What are the individual factors that influence information use in this meeting context?

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