Date of Award

1-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master Of Science

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr. Gulten Wagner

Abstract

Research shows that the amount of information has grown vastly and information technology has greatly increased its availability. This has caused changes in the organisational environment, placing greater and greater demands on the individuals' and organisations' capacity to absorb and process information. Since information is considered to be a valuable and necessary asset, and as time for processing information is limited, an individual will have to make choices about what information to process. An exploratory case study was conducted to ascertain what rationale do individuals in an organisational setting use for making decisions about what information to process from the vast amount of information directed at them. Eight staff members working on managerial level in a State Government department in Perth, Western Australia, were studied. Data were collected by conducting structured interviews, from documentary sources and by observing the participants. As the study is an exploratory case study, no hypotheses were formed at the outset of the study, the data collection was guided by the research questions. The aim was to generate hypotheses for further studies. Very little is known about how much of their daily information load individuals actually process. It is ineffective to bombard individuals with information, if it is not going to be processed. Before any kind of structuring of information or training of individuals can take place, it is necessary to know what the priorities are that guide the selection of information for processing.

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