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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploratory study of information needs of workers in an industrial organization Connaghan, Charles Joseph


This study was undertaken for the purpose of determining the kinds of information wanted by sawmill workers about the Company they work for, and to find out which media they considered best in relaying this information. Personal interviews were conducted with eighty English-speaking workers in a mill located in the Greater Vancouver area. A semi-structured interview was used in which the interviewee was given an opportunity to answer freely in his own terms. Each worker was asked thirty questions. Twenty-seven of these dealt with seven major information areas covering the following subjects: the job, Company production and products, Company expansion and Company history. In addition, the men were questioned about three media of employee communications. After detailed comparison, it was found that most of these workers wanted the same kinds of Information. Seventy-five per cent or more wanted to know the following: cost of operating the Mill, new products being made by the Company, general Company information, and details about layoffs. In contrast, less than 35 per cent of the workers wanted: information concerning the handling of employee complaints, details about hourly-paid employees, information on better ways of doing the job, information about new changes in the job, and details as to how the job affects the overall production process.

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