Misunderstanding strategy: reductionist determinism

INN331 – Management Issues for Information Professionals

WEEK TWO: Reading notes on strategy, synthesis for reductionist determinism.


Introduction: cognitive dissonance

I expect a level of cognitive dissonance between an academic unit or lecturer’s, objectives, the assigned and suggested readings, and my own professional and personal perspectives.

That dissonance was dialed up pretty high this week when it came to considering the differences between strategic thinking, strategic planning, and the scope to ‘foster’ organisational creativity and innovation. The most jarring mismatches between my perceptions and the readings occurred when evaluating the LIS-focussed articles.

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Trivialising an occupation prevents its professional status

INN332 – Information Retrieval

Reading notes on ‘fluffy’ wishful thinking.

The Missingham paper, ‘Library and information science: Skills for twenty-first century professionals’ is, unfortunately another example of the fluffy, non-specific talk surrounding skills librarians ‘need in the future’.

The reality is that these skills might indeed have been needed ‘in the future’ if the paper had been written in the 1990s. Being computer illiterate and IT-phobic today is a disqualification from being recognised as any kind of professional, but particularly in an information environment.

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Empty rhetoric undermines professional ambitions

INN332 – Information Retrieval

Reading notes on LIS pretensions.

The Partridge & Hallam paper set as a reading for week one is now ten years old, and surely superseded by Partridge’s more recent work, this time as a professor, but plugging the same message with Yates, based on some new survey work.

The motivation behind the initial paper is the same as for the one following eight years later: justifying an academic discipline by seeking to tie it to the fortunes of a public sector vocation. And it is a vocation, not yet the profession librarians and academics would like it to be for the sake of their own pay packets and career prospects.

Why not a profession?

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