Open Access
Karunakaran, Arvind
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 07, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Dr Madhu Reddy, Thesis Advisor
  • Madhu Reddy, Thesis Advisor
  • temporality
  • horizonatal coordination.
  • barriers
  • collaboration
  • information seeking
  • cis
  • collaborative information seeking
There has been increasing interest in the fields of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Information Sciences to understand the role of collaboration during information seeking activities. This interest has led to the emergence of the research area of collaborative information seeking (CIS). Although researchers are starting to identify various triggers and activities that underlie CIS, we still know very little about the barriers to CIS. Consequently, in this thesis, I focus on identifying and understanding these barriers to CIS within the context of organizational work. I do this through two sequential research studies. In study 1, I focus on identifying the categories of CIS barriers and the practices that gave rise to those barriers. In study 2, I focus on one of the findings from study 1 about the barriers to expertise seeking within organizations. For both these studies, I used “critical-incident” technique for collecting data from participants through the micro-task platform, Mechanical Turk (M-Turk). I employed “constant comparative” method to analyze the data. Through these studies, I identified four major categories of CIS barriers. I also identified the underlying practices that led to these barriers. This thesis contributes to our understanding of the barriers to CIS. By understanding these barriers, we can design better tools and processes to augment and facilitate CIS.