Understanding roles in collaborative information behaviour: A case of Chinese group travelling
Information Processing & Management
School of Business and Law
Australian Research Council University of South Australia Research Themes Investment Scheme Development Fund
ARC Number : DE170100572
A group trip entails collaborative information behaviour (CIB) of multiple actors seeking, sharing, and using travel-related information. However, there is a lack of investigation on how people choose to assume or be appointed different CIB roles during such leisure projects. Thus, limited information support is provided to travellers involved in group trips. This article investigates role adoption to show how group travellers involved in CIB through different actions. A naturalistic inquiry on CIB was conducted with 20 travel groups from mainland China to Australia. Of these, 36 real tourists participated in the study through initial demographic questionnaires, pre- and post-trip interviews, and self-reported diaries during the travel. Data were analysed using iterative coding guided by the constructivist grounded theory. Results suggested the complexity of CIB among group travellers. Besides searching together as equal peers, most group travellers voluntarily assume different CIB roles which are often implicit. Six distinct CIB roles were identified, including team player, all-rounder, influencer, authoritarian, supporter, and follower. Furthermore, the distribution of such roles in a travel group was examined and classified into five patterns. The findings also contribute to information seeking research in tourism discipline. Practical implications are provided regarding system support for collaborative work and tourism information provision.
Society and Culture
Individual, economic, organisational, political and social transformation