What is information management? An investigation of meaning creation through discourse and construction

Signe Sofie Dyrby

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The emergence of the Information Age in the latter half of the 20th century, has led to an increasing recognition of the role of information in today’s global world. This acknowledgement of information and the challenges and opportunities that it brings with it has resulted in the development of new concepts to assist in the structure and management of information. One of these is Information Management. Although Information Management has been widely adopted by both scholars and practitioners within many different fields, a confusion still remains in terms of what is actually implied and meant by the term. In my thesis I have sought to establish an understanding of the meaning of Information Management and the constructive elements that make up the term. The objective of my investigation has been to identify possible components that have made up the Information Management concept since its emergence in the 1970s, as well as the link these components have to practical use of Information Management today. With a base in the scientific perspective of constructionism, my research was divided in two main areas: 1) the identification of the constructive parts that have made up the understanding of Information Management as a concept throughout its academic history and 2) the link which these constructive elements can have to practical use of Information Management. For the investigation of the first area, 15 academic texts, dealing with Information Management and dispersed over time from 1970-2010, were selected according to therefore established criteria relating to significance and word use. The texts where then subjected to discourses analysis through my developed approach investigating the intertextuality, generalization and meaning for creation of concepts and, the semantic relation to the meaning of Information Management within each text. From this analysis, I was able to identify eight main constructs for meaning creation within Information Management. The constructs described implications for Information Management ranging from the view of information, to the tools applied and the outcome gained and to the nature of the concept. On the basis of this, the second facet of my research dealt with a discussion of the practical link of the constructs to current discourses of Information Management within two companies, Platon (a Danish information management consultancy company) and the Business information management department at Capgemini (a company providing outsourcing and technology guidance). Through this discussion it was identified that the eight information management constructs created were to a high extent reflected within the practical discourses, however the meaning varied in some cases according to the meaning discovered within the academic discourses. These findings were made visible in a table outlining the constructs, their theoretical meaning and their practical link. The outcome of my research has been the creation of eight Information Management constructs describing implications for Information Management ranging from the view of information, to the tools applied and outcome gained, and further to the nature of the concept. The identification of the practical link of the constructs within the two company discourses allowed meaning for Information Management to be composed in terms of the eight Information Management constructs and their theoretical and practical relation. The tie between the historically discovered constructs and the reflection of them in current practical discourses, has led me to conclude that the created Information Management constructs identified could present the basis for current and future creation of meaning and interpretation of Information Management. I believe that opting for more research within these constructs can enable a move towards a united field of Information Management.

UddannelserCand.merc.it Business Administration and Information Systems, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider139