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Information sharing practice in multi-agency working

Peel, Michelle and Rowley, Jennifer (2010) Information sharing practice in multi-agency working. Aslib Proceedings, 62 (1). 11 - 28. ISSN 0001-253X

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to make a contribution to understanding of knowledge sharing in the public sector, with specific reference to a context in which multi-agency working is important, and the information being shared is personal case information. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review summarises previous research on knowledge management and knowledge and information sharing in the public sector, multi-agency working and information sharing, and the legislative and regulatory context relating to information sharing. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted within the Trafford Children and Young People's Service workforce in order to explore attitudes toward the sharing of personal information. Findings – Workers recognise the importance of information sharing to their job role and are willing participants, despite busy work schedules; they also acknowledge that management is committed to information sharing. On the other hand, information systems continue to present challenges in terms of mixed case file formats, suitability and usability of computer software, and the development of staff information technology skills. In addition, the complex legislative and regulatory context guiding information sharing is a source of some lack of confidence in relation to which personal case information may be shared, with who, and under what circumstances. Originality/value – This research contributes to the limited knowledge on information sharing in the public sector. It is unique in its focus on the sharing of case-based personal information, a context in which the legal and regulatory framework is an additional factor in information sharing.

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