ERIC Number: ED411841
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
The Delivery of Business Information to the End-User--User Perceptions and Needs.
Swan, Alma; Brown, Sheridan
This study surveyed customer needs and the information-usage behavior in two sectors, corporate end-users and academic end-users, both using business information. Questionnaires were distributed to 198 named senior managers of a large United Kingdom energy company (97 returned) and to 595 faculty members of 11 top business schools in 9 countries (59 returned). The questionnaires were designed to probe the extent of end-user access to, and usage of, work-related information and the perceived value of such information in facilitating their work. Despite the fact that all or most of the journals required by academic respondents are available in their library and access to the peripheral sources they value is easy, 58% still feel they are missing useful information and use other available sources to try to find it; corporate end-users are in agreement, with 86% agreeing that better access to external information would improve the performance of their department. In the academic situation, a huge proportion of respondents have access both to Internet facilities and to online services provided via their library, yet usage figures for these media are quite low. Corporate resondents indicated that they are not confident of their abilities to use these media effectively and anecdotal evidence suggests that academic end-users feel similarily. Academic end-users rated journals as the most important source of information (86%); undertaking a systematic search of these journals, in printed form in their institutional library was the main method of access. Oral or informal written communication appeared to be an important source of work-related information. In contrast to the corporate sector, the academic respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of greater access to electronic information. Just as there are many differences between the needs of end-users and those of institutional buyers, so there also appears to be significant and often substantial differences in the perceived needs of different types of customers in the end-user sector. (Contains 12 references.) (AEF)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Business, Computer Literacy, Electronic Journals, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Information Retrieval, Information Services, Information Sources, Internet, Organizations (Groups), Research Methodology, Search Strategies, User Needs (Information), Users (Information)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Online Information 96. Proceedings of the International Online Information Meeting (20th, Olympia 2, London, England, United Kingdom, December 3-5, 1996); see IR 056 631.