ERIC Number: ED233679
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Attributes of Communication between Clients and Staff of High Capacity Computer Data Processing Centers.
Hirsch, Kenneth William; Kimbrough, Kenneth Laslie
A study was conducted in September 1981 of factors which influence the process of communication between clients and staff at six high-capacity computer facilities in the Sacramento, California, metropolitan area. These included two large government organizations, a medium-sized corporation, two bibliographic database settings, and a computer service bureau. Open-ended personal interviews were conducted with 35 clients and staff (including data processing managers, programmers, systems analysts, online bibliographic searchers, and others acting as intermediaries between clients and computer systems); and observations were made or four staff-client interactions at each facility. Based on prior research in the fields of communication, librarianship, and computer science, three classes of variables (covering organizational, interpersonal, and output relevance factors) were examined to determine: (1) how organizations define the information needs of their computer clients; (2) the characteristics of communication among participants engaged in the process of defining computer clients' information needs; and (3) the indicators used by clients and intermediaries to evaluate the quality of output received. Four additional variables found to have an impact on data processing and online bibliographic searching outcomes include source of payment for computer output, system documentation quality, intermediary personnel turnover, and the status accorded intermediaries by clients. A 41-item bibliography accompanies the description of the study. (ESR)
Descriptors: Communication Problems, Communication Research, Data Processing, Human Relations, Information Needs, Interpersonal Communication, Interviews, Man Machine Systems, Online Systems, Organizational Communication, Reference Services, Relevance (Information Retrieval), User Satisfaction (Information)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Intermediaries; User Needs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).