ASIS&T 2013 Annual Meeting 
Montrťal, Quťbec, Canada | November 1-5, 2013

Information Behaviour in Transition: A Developing Country Perspective

Nicole Gaston, Victoria University of Wellington
Dan Dorner, Victoria University of Wellington
David Johnstone, Victoria University of Wellington

Tuesday, 1:30pm


Increased Internet penetration rates across the developing world have resulted in significant changes to the quantity and quality of information previously available to individuals in many regions of the world. Thus far little research has examined the contextual factors affecting information behaviour in a non-Western, developing country, and how new technologies are affecting traditional avenues to resolving information needs. This paper reports on the findings of a research project investigating information behaviour in Laos. Information behaviour was examined through 30 in-depth interviews from which the changing information environment of Laos was explored. The research employed Dervinís Sense-making methodology and discourse analysis amongst other tools to investigate the unique nature of information behaviour in a developing country. The findings revealed that while increased internet access is affecting how individuals in Laos communicate and exchange information, contextual factors primarily related to culture continue to strongly influence information behaviour. These findings have implications for information professionals, information systems design, and international development.

Keywords Information behaviour, developing countries, Laos, information poverty, Sense-making