A two-way street: Collaboration and information sharing in academia. A theoretically-based, comparative Australian/Vietnamese study

Hui Thi Pham, Kirsty Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction: The literature lacks studies of the interconnection between information sharing and collaboration in work settings. This paper explores this nexus in the context of academics and library staff within one Australian university and one Vietnamese university, along with the effect of structural support and human agency, inter alia.
Method: The research was interpretivist qualitative, underpinned by structuration theory and communities of practice theory. Data collection included 58 participants involved in 41 interviews, a focus group, a workshop and numerous informal conversations in the two university settings.
Analysis: A holistic approach of three data analytics included middle-level coding to grasp basic themes or issues in the data, focused/selective coding to develop theoretical codes, and mind-mapping techniques and matrices for cross-case comparisons.
Results: While the Vietnamese university lacked the structural support for collaboration offered by the Australian university, the former compensated through the initiatives of library staff (human agency). Trust and technology played important supportive roles.
Conclusion: Effective collaboration cannot develop without information sharing; conversely, information sharing promotes collaboration. While collaboration and information sharing were assisted by supportive infrastructure, human agency modified structural barriers. Trust and technology had roles to play. These findings may be applicable in different university contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberisic1810
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Research: an international electronic journal
Volume23
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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