Information needs and Information seeking behaviour of Namibian pastors


Master's Thesis, 2013
196 Pages

Excerpt

Table of Contents

List of tables

List of figures

Acknowledgements

Dedication

Declaration

Abbreviations and acronyms

Chapter 1 : INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Orientation of the study
1.3 Statement of the problem
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Limitation of the study
1.7 Literature review
1.8 Theoretical framework
1.9 Definition of terms and concepts
1.10 Research design and methodology
1.10.1 Research design
1.10.2 Population
1.10.3 Sample
1.10.4 Data collection methods
1.10.5 Validity and reliability
1.10.6 Procedure
1.10.7 Data analysis
1.11 Research ethics
1.12 Structure of the thesis
1.13 Summary

Chapter 2 : LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Information needs and seeking behaviour of pastors
2.2.1 Information
2.2.2 Information need
2.2.3 Information seeking
2.2.4 Information behaviour
2.3 Information sources used and how they are used
2.4 Factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour
2.5 Perceptions of pastors on their preparedness to meet their job demands
2.6 Pastoral information service
2.7 Information behaviour models
2.7.1 Ellis’ (1989) behavioural model of information seeking strategies
2.7.2 Kuhlthau’s (1991) model of the stages of information-seeking
2.7.3 Wilson’s (1996) model of information seeking behaviour
2.7.4 Dervin’s (2000) sense-making theory
2.8 Reasons for using Wilson’s model and Dervin’s theory
2.9 Summary

Chapter 3 : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research design
3.3 Survey research
3.3.1 Strengths of survey research
3.3.2 Weaknesses of survey research
3.4 Interviews
3.5 Research population
3.5.1 Sampling procedures
3.5.2 Stratified sampling
3.5.3 Purposive sampling
3.6 Reliability and validity
3.7 Data collection instruments
3.7.1 Questionnaire as a data collection tool
3.7.2 Interview guide as a way of collecting data
3.8 The pilot study
3.9 Data collection process
3.9.1 Administering the questionnaires
3.9.2 Existing church documents and interviews with key informants
3.10 Data analysis
3.10.1 Analysis of quantitative data
3.10.2 Analysis of qualitative data
3.11 Ethical considerations
3.12 Evaluation of the research methodology
3.13 Summary

Chapter 4 : DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors
4.2.1 Information needs of pastors
4.2.2 Information seeking behaviour of pastors
4.2.3 Information sources used and how they are used
4.2.4 Factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour
4.2.5 Accessibility of pastoral information
4.2.6 Perceptions of pastors about their preparedness in carrying out their pastoral duties
4.2.7 Pastors’ views on how to improve pastoral information services
4.3 Summary

Chapter 5 : DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors
5.2.1 Information needs
5.2.2 Information seeking behaviour of pastors
5.3 Information sources used and how they are used
5.4 Factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour
5.5 Perceptions of pastors on their preparedness for carrying out their duties
5.6 Pastors’ views on how to improve pastoral information services
5.7 Summary

Chapter 6 : FRAMEWORK FOR SETTING UP PASTORAL INFORMATION SERVICES
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Basis for the proposed framework
6.3 Analysis of context
6.4 Analysis of prevailing circumstances
6.5 Analysis of information seeking behaviour
6.6 Analysis of information use
6.7 Summary

Chapter 7 : SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Summary of the findings
7.2.1 Information needs
7.2.2 Information seeking behaviour of pastors
7.2.3 Information sources used by pastors
7.2.4 Factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour
7.2.5 Level of information accessibility
7.2.6 Perceptions of pastors about their preparedness in carrying out their duties
7.2.7 Suggestions by pastors on improving information service provision
7.2.8 Framework for setting up pastoral information services
7.3 Conclusions
7.3.1 Information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors
7.3.2 Information sources used and how they are used
7.3.3 Perceptions of pastors on their preparedness for their duties
7.3.4 Factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour
7.3.5 Pastors’ suggestions for improving pastoral information services
7.4 Recommendations
7.4.1 Information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors
7.4.2 Barriers to information seeking
7.4.3 Perceptions of pastors
7.4.4 Framework for setting up pastoral information services
7.4.5 Recommendations for further research
7.5 Conclusion

References

Appendices

List of tables

Table 1.1: Division of the thesis

Table 2.1: Biblical pastoral responsibilities

Table 3.1: Computed sample of pastors by denomination

Table 4.2: Information needed by pastors

Table 4.3: Comparison of information needs of pastors as revealed by pastors in the questionnaire and in the interviews

Table 4.4: Information seeking behaviour of pastors

Table 4.5: Comparison of information seeking behaviour of pastors as revealed by pastors in the questionnaire and in the interviews

Table 4.6: Information sources used by pastors

Table 4.7: Comparison of information sources used by pastors in Namibia as revealed in the questionnaire and in the interviews

Table 4.8: Main difficulties in obtaining pastoral information

Table 4.9: Comparison of factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour in Namibia as revealed in the questionnaires and in the interviews

Table 4.10: Level of information accessibility

Table 4.11: Perceptions on preparedness

List of figures

Figure 2.1: Ellis’ behavioural model of information seeking strategies (Wilson, 1999)

Figure 2.2: A comparison of Ellis' and Kuhlthau's models (Wilson, 1999)

Figure 2.3: Wilson’s (1996) model of information behaviour (Case, 2006, p. 137)

Figure 2.4: Dervin’s ‘sense-making’ theory triangle (Wilson, 1999)

Figure 2.5: Dervin’s sense-making model (Wilson, 1999)

Figure 5.1: Wilson’s model of information needs and seeking behaviour

Figure 6.1: Proposed framework for setting up pastoral information services

Acknowledgements

Thanks and glory to God for the grace He bestowed on me throughout this study. I would also like to thank the following people who assisted me to bring this thesis to completion:

Dr. C. Nengomasha - for patiently guiding me throughout this thesis.

Mr. W. Yule - for his insights and support throughout the writing of this thesis.

Mrs. F. Matsveru - for encouraging me and proofreading my thesis.

Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS) - for supporting me financially.

Peter and Paula Ryan - for their prayers and financial support.

Dr. Noel I. Liddle and Mrs. Ann Liddle who not only introduced me to

librarianship but also encouraged and supported me in many ways.

UNAM library staff - for helping me with the needed information sources.

All the pastors who participated, without whom this study would not have materialised.

Last but not least my mother (Lucia Matsveru) - for inspiring me not to give up when I set my heart on something.

Dedication

I dedicate this thesis to Florence (my wife), Lauretta and Kundaimunashe (my children) in appreciation for their patience, support and understanding, which brought this thesis to completion.

Declaration

I, David Matsveru declare hereby that this study is a true reflection of my own research, and that this work, or part thereof has not been submitted for a degree in any other institution of higher education.

No part of this thesis may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by means (e.g. electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise) without the prior permission of the author, or The University of Namibia in that behalf.

I, David Matsveru, grant The University of Namibia the right to reproduce this thesis in whole or in part, in any manner or format, which The University of Namibia may deem fit, for any person or institution requiring it for study and research; providing that The University of Namibia shall waive this right if the whole thesis has been or is being published in a manner satisfactory to the University.

Signed .... Date: .....

David Matsveru

Abbreviations and acronyms

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Chapter 1 : INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Pastors are trained people who have devoted their lives to serving God by imparting biblical wisdom and guidance to society. Their responsibilities include administration, evangelism, preaching, directing prayers or services, community development, public relations, youth services, accounting, member care, teaching and counselling, including HIV and AIDS counselling (Warren, 1995, p. 49). They give people emotional support and comfort in times of sadness or joy. Individuals, families and nations rely on them in relation to a number of problems ranging from social to religious issues.

The Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba in March 2007 called on religious leaders to consult on the issue of moral decay in Namibia, particularly the issue of HIV and AIDS (Isaacs, 2007). This shows the importance the Namibian government has placed on pastors. As pastors work with individuals, families, and nations, they definitely need information.

The word ‘pastor’ is a Latin word for herdsman (Harper, 2010). It is an official title for a priest or a preacher in a local church. Their qualifications and ordination vary from denomination to denomination. The biblical mandate for pastors is that they are to be above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not lovers of money, able to manage their own households well, not a new convert, but someone who enjoys a good reputation with those outside the church (1Tim 3:2-7).

This study seeks to establish the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia. An information need is recognition that knowledge is inadequate to satisfy a goal (Case, 2002), while information seeking behaviour is that conscious effort to acquire information in response to that need (Eskola, 1998).

1.2 Orientation of the study

Research on information needs and information seeking behaviour of different information user groups has been carried out over the years on university students (Eskola, 1998), on theologians (Gorman, 1990), on women in small businesses (Mchombu, 2000) and recently on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) (Mchombu, 2008). However, studies on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors are rare despite the fact that 91.44% of Namibians claim to be Christians (Mandryk, 2010) and as such, many pastors are serving them in one way or the other. In Namibia, pastors play a very important role in communities and as such, information service providers need to establish how pastors seek information and what problems they encounter. Verified information can then be used to tailor-make information services to meet pastors’ information needs.

Few similar studies on pastors’ information needs and information seeking behaviour have been conducted. Gorman (1990) carried out a quantitative survey on the information seeking behaviour of theologians. Theologians are people who study or have studied theology and are not necessarily pastoring or intending to pastor a church. While this group may fall within the category of pastors, the reality is that their setting is different from a person running a church on a day-to-day basis. Michels (2005) used a qualitative study with only seven participants on informal information seeking behaviour of biblical studies scholars. As much as this researcher respects qualitative research because of its depth, he strongly feels that Michel’s study was used narrowly and on a very limited population. A study of this nature also requires that participants be pastors who reside over a local congregation.

Limited access to contextual information sources to counsel, preach and teach is one of the challenges faced by pastors in carrying out their different roles. Pastors are limited in their capacity to access contextual information in many ways, for example lack of knowledge, technological limitations and non-availability of information sources in local languages. They may fail to perform their duties because they either do not understand what relevant information is needed and/or they do not know how to obtain it with efficiency (The Shams Group, 2005). For example, there is a general belief that fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa is not only a medical issue but also a religious issue and hence the need to involve pastors. African governments have often referred to it as a multi-sectoral approach (Isaacs, 2007). However, sometimes pastors are ignorant of relevant information in order to gain access to a wide range of resources.

1.3 Statement of the problem

Pastors train in different institutions and serve in denominations and congregations that vary socially, economically, politically and spiritually, and hence their information seeking behaviours could be affected by their different contexts (Ronald & Wicks, 2009). Although pastors in Namibia may be performing well in their pastoral roles, it is necessary to know how well equipped and informed they are to deal with these important issues. This researcher’s personal discussions with some pastors and church members before the study was carried out indicated that some pastors are inadequately informed to cope with their ministry demands. The researcher also noted that no studies have been done on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia. This study explored the suitability of Wilson’s (1996) model of information seeking behaviour and Dervin’s (2003) sense-making theory in designing a suitable information service for pastors in Namibia after understanding their information needs and seeking behaviours in their endeavour to fulfil their different roles.

1.4 Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study was to establish the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia. To attain this broad objective the research was guided by the following specific objectives:

1. To establish the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors;
2. To determine the perceptions of pastors on their preparedness for their pastoral duties;
3. To establish the information sources used and how they are used;
4. To investigate factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour; and
5. To come up with a framework for setting up pastoral information services in Namibia.

1.5 Significance of the study

Significance refers to the application and meaning of the study to ‘the real world’ (Berg, 1994, p. 34); in this case theological information providers, churches and Bible colleges in general and pastors in particular. The findings of this research are significant in that they:

- Lead to a better understanding of pastoral information needs;
- Identify the information sources pastors already have access to and the existing gaps in information access;
- Influence policy- and decision-makers (churches and theological institutions) and religious information service providers (theological libraries); and
- Contribute to academic knowledge on the subject of information needs and seeking behaviour of pastors.

1.6 Limitation of the study

Although a survey was conducted nationally, 110 (80%) out of the 138 respondents who returned the questionnaire were from Windhoek. Interviews that were conducted gathered qualitative data from 16 key informants (pastors) based in Windhoek. This was necessitated by the fact that all major churches are represented in Windhoek. The researcher recommends that further research on “information seeking behaviour of rural pastors in Namibia” be carried out, as rural and urban contexts are different.

1.7 Literature review

In preparation for this study, “information needs and information seeking behaviour of Namibian pastors”, a preliminary literature review was undertaken based on the assumption that knowledge accumulates and that researchers learn from and build on what others have done (Neuman, 2011, p. 111).

A number of databases were searched (LISA, LISTA and JSTOR). The researcher noted that a number of studies have been conducted on information needs and information seeking behaviour in general. However, very little was found on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors. In their studies on information seeking behaviour of theologians, Gorman (1990) and Wicks (1999) found that theologians rely heavily on “invisible colleges”. An invisible college refers to a situation where theologians depend on each other for the exchange of ideas. This is the same concept Crane (1972) has referred to as a “social circle” or “social network”. When the social network theory is applied to information needs, the premise is that, “social networks to which individuals adhere affect the way in which they seek information” (Wicks, 1997, p. 156). By this, Wicks meant that social networks of which one is a member affect the individual’s information seeking attitude.

According to Wicks (1999) even though pastors use libraries, in most cases they build their personal collection during their time of training. When they go to a library, they tend to function independently of librarians. He goes further to say that pastors seek information by themselves, and enjoy browsing shelves and scanning journals. Wicks’ study does not give an exact setting of the pastor serving in a local church. It focuses on lecturers and students in a seminary setup. However, the researcher finds Wicks’ study helpful as it shows how information seeking behaviour is developed in the lives of pastors-to-be.

Tanner (1994) argues that it is congregational rules and regulations that govern the pastors’ selection of information sources. In other words, Tanner is saying that before a pastor uses an information source he or she evaluates it to see if it does not contradict the doctrines and teachings of the denomination he or she is serving. Lauman (1987) has identified three components that can be used to determine network boundaries, namely actors, relations and activities. Actors in this case are pastors who serve in the same denomination. Relations refer to pastors serving in the same denomination but who have frequent purposeful contact with one another. Activities refer to a working together of pastors to lobby the government about a cause, for example, HIV and AIDS, under the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN).

In wrestling with HIV and AIDS especially in the African context, issues of spirituality and religion cannot be ignored and this is why on several occasions the Namibian government has called on pastors to play a role. However, pastors differ in their approach to this issue. Some pastors say HIV is God’s judgment on immoral people while others proclaim that AIDS is curable by faith (Dube, 2003, p. 3). Hence the importance of researching on how well equipped and informed they are to deal with these important issues.

Michels (2005) in his qualitative study focused on informal information seeking behaviour of seven biblical scholars. The participants turned to other professionals for confirmation and affirmation as they became more self-confident as researchers. Michels’ research is very narrow since pastors are involved in numerous activities in the life of a community and not just biblical issues. How one behaves in a class setup may be different from the way he or she behaves in the field. In research conducted in America by Fuller Institute of Church Growth (FICG, 1991), 70% of the 1500 pastors revealed that they did not have friends despite the fact that they belonged to a denomination.

While no studies were found on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia or Africa, a few studies found on America (Wicks, 1999), Canada (Tanner, 1994) and Australia (Gorman, 1990) might have a bearing on Namibia in the light of globalisation. Studies conducted in America reveal that there are information gaps in the delivery of services by pastors. In the FICG study referred to above, 50% of the 1500 pastors indicated that they were not able to meet the demands of their jobs, while 90% revealed they were inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands, resulting in 33% of pastors resigning every month in America. The reasons for the failure by these American pastors to meet job demands could include lack of knowledge, technological limitations and possibly low levels of education. Awareness of, and access to, the right information is of major importance in carrying out pastoral duties.

1.8 Theoretical framework

The study of information needs and information seeking behaviour is known to scholars as “user studies” (Carr, 2006; Eskola, 1998; Mann, 2005). User studies have been the major subject of many studies. These studies have resulted in a number of information seeking models. A model in this case is a framework for thinking about a problem, which attempts to describe an information-seeking activity and the causes and consequences of that activity (Wilson, 1999). Some of these models are Wilson’s model of information seeking behaviour (1996), Dervin’s sense-making theory (2003), Ellis’s behavioural model of information seeking strategies (1989) and Kuhlthau’s model of the stages of information-seeking (1991). Behind these models is the belief that information seeking is a result of the recognition of some need perceived by the user.

Models are needed in research because they provide guidance in setting research questions. This research is based on Wilson’s (1996) model of information seeking behaviour and partly on the sense-making theory developed by Dervin and others (2003). Wilson proposes that an information need is not a primary need, but a secondary need that arises out of needs of a more basic kind. In an effort to discover information to satisfy a need, the enquirer is likely to meet with barriers of different kinds. Wilson notes that the context of the needs may be the person himself/herself, or the role demands of the person’s work or life.

The central idea of the sense-making theory is that as people move through time and space, they develop unique points of view from personal experiences and observations, and at some point they come to a gap, where sense runs out, which then needs to be bridged. It is this gap that also causes the information seeker to behave in a certain way in trying to bridge the gap. This implies that when pastors are confronted with demands in their different roles, they use the information they have accumulated over the years, but when that information becomes inadequate, they look for more information elsewhere.

The study’s questionnaire and interview guide were designed taking into consideration the information-seeking activities, causes and consequences of the activities as outlined in Wilson’s model of information seeking.

1.9 Definition of terms and concepts

This section endeavours to clarify the terms used in this study.

Church: According to Douglas (1978) the word “church” is derived from a Greek word “kurikon”, which means “the Lord’s” house or body. Douglas further defines this body as “people of God, called by the divine initiative into holy convocation” (p. 226). In this study the word church is used to refer to the body of Christians either in their local groupings or universally.

Congregation: A group of people assembled in a specific place for ecclesiastical purposes.

Contextualisation: According to Nicholls (1979) contextualisation is “the translation of the unchanging content of the Gospel of the kingdom into verbal form meaningful to the peoples in their separate culture and within their particular existential situations” (p. 647). In this study contextualisation is used to refer to indigenisation.

Denomination: A group of congregations united under a common theological doctrine and name and organised under a single administration or legal hierarchy.

Gap: A gap is an encounter with a discrepancy or lack of sense in a person’s environment. Dervin (1983) defines gap as, “a state that arises within a person, that might be filled by information or by some other kind of help or bridge (cited in Case, 2006, p. 332). In this study a gap refers to lack of information or skill to perform the desired duties.

Information behaviour: According to Case (2002) information behaviour “encompasses information seeking as well as the totality of other unintentional or passive behaviours …, as well as purposive behaviours that do not involve seeking, such as actively avoiding information” (p. 5). In other words, information behaviour refers to what an individual does to fulfil an information need.

Information need: Wilson (1999) describes information need as “not a primary need, but, first, a secondary need that arises out of needs of a more basic kind; and second, that in an effort to discover information to satisfy a need, the enquirer is likely to meet barriers of different kinds” (p. 252). An information need according to this study is the information required by an individual to carry out a task.

Information seeking behaviour: These are strategies employed by individuals to acquire information, including a selection of sources and channels, to meet their need and preference for messages on particular subjects (Case, 2002; Wilson, 19992). In this study, information seeking behaviour is what a person does in pursuit of information to satisfy a need.

Pastor: A man or woman trained to take physical and spiritual care of a congregation irrespective of their denomination. The same word is used to refer to priests and elders.

Pastoral information: Data that can be used by pastors to enable them to carry out their pastoral duties effectively.

Pastoral information services: Those services that aim to provide pastors with relevant information for their specific duties. In this study, services refer to support given to pastors to enable them to carry out their pastoral duties.

1.10 Research design and methodology

A detailed discussion of the study’s research design and methodology is given in Chapter 3. However, this section gives a brief overview of the research design and methodology of the study.

1.10.1 Research design

A mixed method approach (using quantitative and qualitative techniques) was preferred because of its numerous advantages that include ability to gather data from a dispersed and large number of subjects. The methodology can be used to get data on attitudes and behaviours as well as to find answers to the questions who?, what?, when?, and where?. Most importantly, the findings of a mixed method approach research can be generalised (Mouton, 2001, p. 153), thereby allowing the researcher to propose a framework for setting up pastoral information services that may be applicable to all Namibian pastors.

The quantitative approach was used to obtain personal data, while the qualitative technique was used to obtain data on knowledge, awareness, feelings, attitudes, and opinions relating to the information seeking behaviour of pastors. A questionnaire was hand delivered to pastors in different parts of the country through the Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary’s (NETS) regional offices in Ongwediva, Gobabis, Mariental, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

1.10.2 Population

There are approximately 173 denominations in Namibia (Mandryk, 2010, p. 614). It is not easy to know the exact number of denominations in Namibia since there are no requirements by the government for churches to be registered. Sixteen churches are affiliated with Council of Churches of Namibia (CCN) while others are affiliated with the Association of Pentecostals and Charismatic Churches in Namibia (APCCN). Some denominations are not affiliated with any church body. However, according to Brain (2011), there are approximately over 1400 trained pastors presiding over congregations in Namibia. This group was used as the research population for this study.

1.10.3 Sample

The most critical element of the sampling procedure is the choice of the sample frame which constitutes a representative subset of the population from which the sample is drawn (Pinsonneault, 1991). Selecting a sample was necessary as consulting all pastors in Namibia could not have been possible (Struwig & Stead, 2001, p. 109). A stratified quota sample of 200 pastors was taken from different denominations using Walpole’s formula for proportions (Walpole, 1982) as explained below:

ni = (Ni / N) n
Where: ni represents Quota size required,
Ni represents Number of pastors in each denomination
N represents Total study population,
n represents Total sample size used.

The formula helped to determine the number of pastors to be taken from each denomination to participate in the questionnaire survey, while purposive sampling was used to select 16 key informants to participate in the interviews.

1.10.4 Data collection methods

The research was conducted with the aid of three data collection instruments. The researcher reviewed existing literature, sent out a structured questionnaire and conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 key informants to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Existing literature here refers to denominational policy documents that may prohibit pastors from using certain information sources. Interviews are a direct face-to-face attempt to obtain reliable and valid measures in the form of verbal responses from respondents. Interviews were used to obtain qualitative data about personal information, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of the pastors regarding their information needs, information seeking behaviour and how prepared they think they are to deal with pastoral tasks. For quantitative data a questionnaire with open-ended and closed questions based on the concepts of Wilson’s information seeking behaviour model and Dervin’s sense-making theory were used to gather data on context, information behaviour and difficulties encountered in seeking information.

The Likert scales are a widely used attitude scaling tool and in this study a four point scale was used. The scale measures the extent to which a person agrees or disagrees with the question; for example “strongly agree”, “agree”, “disagree” or “strongly disagree” (Albaum, 1997, p. 333). The scale was also used to gather data on demography, information needs and different roles played by pastors.

1.10.5 Validity and reliability

A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect qualitative data on perceptions from the sixteen pastors purposively selected from different denominations as key informants, while a questionnaire was used to obtain quantitative information from pastors throughout the country. The pastors were purposively selected to represent their denominations as most of them are represented in Windhoek. Triangulation (using different data gathering instruments) gives the desired confidence, or what Struwig and Stead (2001) refer to as “reliability and validity” to a study (p. 100).

Before the research was conducted, a pilot study was conducted with 5 pastors-in-training to test the validity of the instruments. The feedback from the pastors-in-training was that the level of English was a bit high and the researcher simplified the English. After simplifying the English, the researcher noted that the instruments were good enough to produce the desired objectives. This was done to ensure the validity of the instruments.

1.10.6 Procedure

A list of pastors in Namibia was created after consultation with the Council of Churches, Association of Pentecostals and Charismatic Churches in Namibia, theological colleges and heads of denominations. A self-administered questionnaire was handed to 200 pastors while semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 key informants (pastors) based in Windhoek.

1.10.7 Data analysis

Data analysis is about how the researcher orders and presents the findings of this study. The purpose of the analysis is to “transform the unordered data into something meaningful” (Gillham, 2000, p. 25). In this study, a computer-based programme, SPSS (2010) was used. Basic level descriptive statistics were used to organise and analyse statistical data obtained using quantitative techniques. The data was placed into categories of objects for each variable that was measured by the different questions in the questionnaire. Qualitative data obtained through verbal and written responses (interviews) was analysed using content analysis.

1.11 Research ethics

Research ethics provide the researcher with a code of moral guidelines on how to conduct research in a morally acceptable way. It involves obtaining the informed consent of the participants. The participants need to agree to the use of the data and how its analysis will be reported and disseminated (Gillespie, 2008, p. 46). Before the study was carried out, written permission was sought from the Council of Churches and Heads of Denominations concerned. Informed consent was also sought from the participants and confidentiality was protected by way of not requiring participants to give their names.

1.12 Structure of the thesis

This study presents the findings from the literature reviewed, questionnaires and interviews as outlined in Chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 4 presents and analyses the data, while Chapter 5 deals with the interpretation of the data presented and analysed in Chapter 4. Chapter 6 recommends a framework for setting up pastoral information services, while Chapter 7 gives an overall summary of the findings and conclusions of the study and giving recommendations based on those conclusions. Table 1.1 gives an outline of the thesis and a brief overview of the contents of each chapter.

Table 1.1: Division of the thesis

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1.13 Summary

This chapter has provided the overview of the study by discussing the orientation of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, limitation of the study, literature review, theoretical framework, ethical issues, definition of terms, the design and methodology of the study and the structure of the thesis. Chapter 2 reviews the literature on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors, perceptions of pastors on their preparedness to meet ministry demands, information sources used by pastors and factors affecting their information seeking behaviour.

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

This literature review was undertaken based on the assumption that knowledge accumulates and that we learn from and build on what others have done (Neuman, 2011, p. 111). Hart (1998) notes that without a review of literature one will not be able to acquire an understanding of his or her topic, of what has already been done on it, how it has been researched and what the key issues are (p. 1).

In an attempt to locate literature on the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors, the researcher searched a number of databases (LISA, LISTA, and JSTOR). Indications are that a number of studies have been conducted on information needs and information seeking behaviour in general. However, nothing was found on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia or Africa. The review helped in conducting a survey on information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia and the findings assisted in proposing a framework for pastoral information service.

Since literature on information seeking behaviour of pastors in Namibia or Africa could not be found, the literature review was expanded to include similar studies such as information seeking behaviour of theologians and information seeking behaviour in general. The goal of the literature review was to meet the objectives of the study, which are:

- To establish the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors;
- To determine the perceptions of pastors on their preparedness for their pastoral duties;
- To establish the information sources used and how they are used;
- To investigate factors affecting pastors’ information seeking behaviour; and
- To come up with a framework for setting up pastoral information services in Namibia.

These objectives, as outlined in Chapter 1 and information behaviour models, formed the basis of subtopics of the literature review.

2.2 Information needs and seeking behaviour of pastors

Before discussing the information needs and information seeking behaviour of pastors, it is imperative to define important words that make up this review. This section will define “information”, “information need”, “information seeking” and “information behaviour” as these terms are important in understanding the subject under study.

2.2.1 Information

The word “information” is sometimes confused with “data” and “knowledge”. Machlup (1983) points out that data is a “raw” type of information (p. 657) while “information” is the processed data. For Machlup, knowledge can be acquired through thinking whereas information is acquired by being told (p. 644). The word “information” is derived from the Latin word “informare” which means, “giving form” or “to design” (Ryden, 2008). Reitz (2004) defines it as “data presented in a comprehensible form to which meaning has been attributed within the context of its use”. In other words, specific data can be considered as information if it conveys a meaning to the person who receives it.

Brenda Dervin (1992) defines information as “that which helps people to make sense of their world”. Dervin further notes that “the individual, in her time and space, needs to make sense …. She needs to inform herself constantly. Her head is filled with questions. These questions can be seen as her information needs” (p. 170).

Buckland (1991) defines information in three ways: as a “thing”, as “knowledge” and as a “process”. Information as a “thing” is used attributively to refer to objects, such as documents (books, DVDs, CDs) as they have the feature of imparting knowledge. Information as “knowledge” denotes that which is perceived in information as a “process”, that is the knowledge communicated. Information as a “process” refers to the act of informing, telling, or communicating knowledge. In this context, information will encompass all three: thing, knowledge and process.

In this study the terms “data,” “information” and “knowledge” will be used synonymously, because they are not clearly delineated in studies of information behaviour. In the past, knowledge was strictly viewed as something of the mind, while data and information were viewed as tangible physical objects. The new paradigm in information seeking is to view all three as something in someone’s mind and not primarily as a physical object (Case, 2005, p. 65).

[...]

Excerpt out of 196 pages

Details

Title
Information needs and Information seeking behaviour of Namibian pastors
College
University of Namibia  (Department of Library and Information Science)
Course
Master of Information Science
Author
Year
2013
Pages
196
Catalog Number
V233272
ISBN (eBook)
9783656495390
ISBN (Book)
9783656495208
File size
1173 KB
Language
English
Tags
information, namibian
Quote paper
David Matsveru (Author), 2013, Information needs and Information seeking behaviour of Namibian pastors, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/233272

Comments

  • David Matsveru on 9/12/2013

    If you are an information science student or you would like to know the information needs of pastors and how they go about to fulfil those needs this book is the best for you

Read the ebook
Title: Information needs and Information seeking behaviour of Namibian pastors


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free