Monday, 9 January 2017

Latest issue of Business Information Review now available

Business Information Review is a journal that is rooted in the idea of evidence-based professional practice, the sharing of professional experience, and the encouragement of professional development. It navigates a path between professional and academic journals drawing on both the real-world experiences of practitioners and the research experience of the wider academic community. The articles in this issue reflect that outlook.

First up is Temilade Adefioye Aina, Louise Cooke and Derek Stephens’ paper Methodology for Evaluating Competitive Intelligence Software Packages. Competitive intelligence is an important topic for the journal, describing the practice of defining, collecting, and analyzing information about products, competitors, customers, or any aspect of the commercial environment impacting on commercial practice. Recent years have seen the growth of software packages designed to make the process easier to manage. Aina et al.’s article seeks to develop a methodology for comparing and evaluating such software packages and to apply that evaluation to a selection of available software. The article was developed out of postgraduate research undertaken at Loughborough University and reflects out aim of bringing the best postgraduate student research in the business information management area to a wider audience.

Next is Ian Hunter’s paper Researching Leveraged Finance, the first of a two-part article addressing the complex area of leveraged finance and business information research approaches and sources. Leveraged finance has become an important market for professional advisory firms including accountancy, banking, and finance sector law firms, particularly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It is also a complex area of business research, and Ian’s article provides both a primer in and overview of the area, drawing on his experience as Research and Information Services Manager at Shearman & Sterling (London) LLP.

Staying with the finance theme that has featured in this issue, Joel Chigada from the University of Cape Town and Patrick Ngulube from the University of South Africa explore the retention strategies of the South African Banking sector. The research uncovered a lack of formal retention strategies in the sector and a lack of knowledge management guideline. Instead, the sector was informed by communities of practice, mentoring and apprenticeships, leveraging expertise, and using story telling techniques. 

Our fifth article by new contributors to Business Information Review, Li Pin Tan and Kuan Yew Wong from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia has a similarly international focus. Entitled Importance versus practice of knowledge management constructs in manufacturing companies, the article addresses the status quo of knowledge management practice in manufacturing companies.

Finally, we have an interview with Darron Chapman, Director at CB Resourcing conducted by Claire Laybats. Darron has over 25 years’ industry experience gained from working within a specialist recruitment, training, and consultancy provider. In 2014, he established CB Resourcing with his business partner Simon Burton, with a broader remit encompassing areas such as strategy and market intelligence. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals/Recruitment & Employment Confederation and was the President of the European Chapter of SLA, the information industry body. The interview addresses career management and development for senior executives in the knowledge and information management sector.Darron also gives his views and experiences on the recruitment marketplace for senior executives in this sector.
Regular readers will know that a key part of each issue of Business Information Review are the regular Initiatives and Perspectives columns, which both round up some of the developments in the business information world. In Perspectives, Martin White explores recent publications both in the information world and beyond that have relevance for professional practice. In Initiatives, Alan Foster reviews developments, new tools, and new publications in the commercial information management sector. Both provide an incredibly comprehensive and useful resource that over the years have traced changes and developments that have influenced professional lives.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Implications of UK leaving European Union

Since the announcement of the referendum result we have been discussing, like most, the implications of the decision to leave the European Union, will it spell disaster or will be the best option for the UK for the future? 

I signed myself up for an email news summary on the subject from M Brain (   The feed is a daily summary of highlights covering UK individually but also giving a global view.  It is a free email subscription and is of general interest, covering many different areas.  What does stand out is that there is very little that is clear in terms of predicting future implications.  It is an evolving situation and one we are keen to keep a close eye on here at BIR. 

I spoke to one writer for BIR, Paul Pedley, who is an expert on everything copyright running valuable copyright training courses, on what potential implications there would be for copyright seeing as law on this is tied closely with Europe.  He sent me the following facts reviewing the impact of Brexit on copyright which are also highlighted in his training:

  • ·      The process won’t start until Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty has been triggered
  • ·      Brexit is unlikely to happen until 2019/2020
  • ·      Existing directives which have been implemented into UK law will continue to have effect
  • ·      The Westminster Parliament will have priorities other than copyright to contend with
  • ·      There won’t be major changes occurring quickly
  • ·      Once Brexit has taken place, UK judges wouldn’t have to follow EU case law which could lead to new judge-based law
  • ·      Could lead to breakup of the UK, with Scotland needing to develop its own IP law
  • ·      It is always possible that UK copyright law could become more onerous for users as a way of encouraging people to do business in the UK based on the strength of its copyright law (from a rights holder point of view).
  • ·      In the long run, could mean less and less harmonization, with all the attendant bureaucratic implications that this would involve

To keep up to date with what might happen in regards to Brexit and those laws intertwined with European law the following link may be useful

We would be keen to hear comments or interested to hear from anyone who experiencing consequences (good or bad) in their area as they are happening.  For the moment thanks to Paul for his comments in this area.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Professional education

The September issue of Business Information Review carried an article by Jela Webb about mid-career professional education. In part the article addressed the place of doctoral education for Information Professionals. Traditionally PhDs have been undertaken predominantly by individuals hoping to enter academia as a kind of entry-level qualification. However in recent years a range of doctoral level qualifications have been developed specifically intended to facilitate mid-career education within professional contexts. Professional Doctorates are doctoral level qualifications that blend the research grounding of traditional PhDs with career orientated classroom based teaching; they are designed to be not only more relevant to professional practice but also more manageable within the context of part time study that traditional PhDs.  At the current time professional doctorates in information management, librarianship, and information science are scarce in the UK context. This raises questions about the role and function of professional education and the means by which it contributes to a shared body of knowledge and experience, and to the formation of a coherent and integrated professional identity. 

On the most fundamental level professional education benefits the individual by inculcating a set of professional knowledge and competencies that can be used as a kind of tool-kit to address both familiar and novel problems.  This “body of professional knowledge” idea also has a gate-keeper function ensuring at least in principle a base level of professional competency governed by the professional body. However, the benefits of undertaking professional education for the individual extend far beyond this basic idea, and include the development of professional networks and partnerships that benefit individuals throughout their careers. The social capital that individuals gain a consequence of undertaking educational courses is often what endures from the experience in the longer term. 

There is however also a broader role of professional education in generating and sustaining professional identities and communities. What binds the information profession is not merely a set of jobs with overlapping responsibilities, but a shared sense of values, identity, and belonging. It is this sense of coherence within a profession discourse, and difference with other professions and occupational groupings that define the nature of professions. Professional education and practice-based research, scholarship and publishing contribute to this shared identity, and to the relative status of practicing professionals. Business Information Review also aims to contribute to professional identity formation by offering opportunities for individuals to contribute to broader debates, and to the sharing of experience. 

It follows that the kinds of qualifications that make up the professional education provision have an influence on the status, coherence, and social capital of those professional groupings. Information professionals generally qualify and achieve chartership at an early stage in their careers; studying for (usually) an accredited masters degree often occurs in the years following undergraduate study, or in the early years of a paraprofessional role for returners or mid-career switchers. Predominantly post-chartership education is managed through short course provision and professional networking events, much of which lacks recognition beyond the profession. This is not unique; the teaching profession has a similar structure. While Information professionals in the commercial sector may also often follow the MBA route into, this may sometimes sit uneasily with the broader professional values.  

What has been missing in the information profession is ways for experienced practitioners to gain wider recognition of their professional seniority. It is this gap that an expansion of doctoral education in the information sector could fill, not as a replacement of senior fellowship of CILIP and other professional bodies, but as a stepping stone towards it. The benefits of this would be both for the individual, but also for the profession as a whole, increasing the status and social capital of library and information profession. As public librarianship has declined in recent decades, academic and commercial practitioners make up a greater proportion of the professional community, and in the financial, legal and academic sectors working alongside colleagues for whom higher level professional and academic qualifications are relatively commonplace. Interestingly, the area in which professional doctorates are most common is in education; the EdD or Doctorate in Education is for many educators a stepping stone to more senior roles and responsibilities. Perhaps there is scope in the Information Profession for similar qualifications both benefiting the individuals who undertake such programmes, but also the status and coherence of the wider professional community.       

Friday, 16 September 2016

September's issue sneak peak

We have a packed issue this month covering not only the exploration of culture, language and leadership on knowledge sharing, but the latest news on the development of international KM standards, experience on developing and implementing your first information strategy and information on managing your own career.  We also have our regular columns from Martin White and Allan Foster too.

News update on Developing International KM standards – Paul J Corney – Managing Partner, Knowledge et al.

Paul reviews the current state of developing KM standards and provides further news on what is being done by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to establish a set of Knowledge Management Standards. Paul considers the importance and implications of the development of such a set of standards and how ultimately it could be a game changing move that will affect knowledge professionals across the globe.

Managerial Implications of Rocking the Floor by Employees: Consequences of Voice Behaviour - Faryal Batool, Department of Commerce Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan-Pakistan

Faryal and colleagues explore and discuss the implications of employees raising their voice to voice concerns or ideas.  They explore the merits and drawbacks of two types of voice – promotive and prohibitive discussing the impact they may have on achieving change in the work place and on the individual’s own personal working environment.  It also considers the effect on leadership and to some extent leadership style.

Knowledge sharing among employees in Ghanaian Industries: the role of transformational leadership style and communal organizational culture- Henry Boateng, School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney

Henry explores the effects of organizational culture and transformational leadership style on knowledge sharing.  It goes on to explore transformational leadership, its affect and importance for enhancing knowledge sharing.  

From Passenger to Pilot - taking the lead and building a business critical information management strategy – Si├ón Tyrrell Head of Horticultural Information & Advice, Royal Horticultural Society

Sian shares her experiences and explores the steps needed to develop and implement an effective information strategy from scratch.   She considers the challenges in different types of environment having worked in both public and private sectors within large and small information teams.  She makes suggestions for adapting approaches to ensure that the information strategy developed is fit for purpose regardless of the type of organization or their position in regards to the importance of an information strategy.

The mid-career information professional: managing your own career - Jela Webb MBA, MSc, ACIB, CCTS, Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton (Business School)

Jela reviews the current environment for those in the middle of their information professional career, what the different options are to consider and what is important in terms of career planning.  In particular, she reviews what will be important skill sets that organisations will look for in the future, looks at taking time out from your career to update your skills and what formal qualifications are available.  She identifies what career ownership and career capital means, their roles and why they are important for effective career development.

Perspectives and Initiatives

Martin White explores the dynamics of teams, what they need to enable them to function effectively and how they work together to support each other to complete a task.  In the articles he reviews he looks at a long term study of the introduction of knowledge management into the public sector as well as many aspects affecting team performance including: organizational culture, social networking and other technologies, collaboration and management innovation.

Allan looks at the increasing importance of due diligence and the critical role information professionals can play in providing important research.  He also cover’s new developments with information providers who are aiming to provide better and more complete information in this area.  He also takes an in-depth look at the growing digital skills gap, looking at what is being done and how that needs to be stepped up a gear to be able to keep UK industry competitive in the future.  Another important skill he looks at is data management and how it is under-valued at present in the work place.  Continuing with the digital theme is the strategic importance of digital transformation and what new technologies will disrupt business in the future.  Informal social media networks are playing an important role in supporting new business start-ups.  He also takes a look at different intelligence and research reports for Brexit and new product development from information vendors.