Collective intelligence and information research in organizational context


The search for information is no longer an isolated activity, but is part of a larger context where research, arrangement, use and sharing of information are fully linked. In addition, we think of Collective Intelligence as “a dynamic of socially responsible actors interconnected culturally (soft) and organizationally (hard), in alliance around shared visions” (Lenhardt & Bernard, 2005, p. 31). In this article, we offer a specific case on collective intelligence from an information research perspective, by investigating forty people from a very large company in the energy sector. They are non-expert informants, amateur developers who have, in addition to their main mission (technical expertise, business support, studies manager, planning, etc.) an activity of producing technical devices to meet the local needs of their colleagues. The results of the participant observation, from a comprehensive perspective, show that, in an organizational context, the structuring of the population investigated is a response to a highly contextualized information need. It is also a way of transforming the organization by promoting a more decentralized approach, supported in this by the mechanisms put in place, but above all anchored in the uses and the operational reality of the players (and the associated dynamics). We observe a convergence between the objectives of the organization that give direction and unite the actors by giving meaning to their actions by the structural dimension of the organization that imposes processes, means, its culture and finally the members themselves. The same people who keep the organization and its culture alive, which are the driving forces behind the achievement of these objectives.

PontodeAcesso: Revista do Instituto de Ciência da Informação da UFBA
Antoine Henry
Antoine Henry
Researcher in Information Science

My research focuses more specifically on issues related to digital, information and organizational transformation.