Title: Mental models of the challenges of multi-agency information sharing projects: a study using cognitive maps

Authors: John M. Woosley, Suzanne D. Pawlowski

Addresses: Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department, EJ Ourso College of Business Administration, Louisiana State University, 3199 CEBA, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA. ' Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department, EJ Ourso College of Business Administration, Louisiana State University, 3190 CEBA, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Abstract: While the improvement of information sharing capabilities among public agencies has become one of the highest priorities of governments today, stakeholders in these initiatives face a multitude of complex challenges. In this paper, we propose the use of a cognition research approach to develop an understanding of the decision-making models and processes of stakeholders in these initiatives. An exploratory study using cognitive mapping methods to understand the perceptions and assumptions of a group of individuals with extensive experience in inter-agency information sharing initiatives is described. Study findings include stakeholder perceptions of nine major challenges, the ||causes|| of those challenges and their interrelationships. The study demonstrates the value of a cognitive approach to understanding the decision-making models of agency actors. Avenues for future research using managerial/organisational cognition theory and methods are outlined.

Keywords: information sharing; public sector; cognitive mapping; organisational cognition; decision making models; inter-agency information; public agencies.

DOI: 10.1504/EG.2004.005917

Electronic Government, an International Journal, 2004 Vol.1 No.4, pp.384 - 397

Published online: 27 Dec 2004 *

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