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Reflective Report – Knowledge is Considered a Critical Factor

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Formative Reflection

Knowledge is considered a critical factor in determining nature of decisions made in any undertaking (Battelle 2005, 19).  The information search process (ISP) was an eye opener on the relevance of information in planning and led to appreciation of the challenges that strategists and planners have in choosing information that is relevant to their operations.

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Developing a plan in an organisational setting is often considered a key operational process.  This importance placed on market planning led to a perception of complexity that manifested in apprehension on the work ahead.

  The multitude of information that could be sought in developing the plan led to a feeling of uncertainty on what directions to take.  This confusion however changed into a state of elation after a topic of study was selected.  The earlier apprehension on the task ahead became anticipation on whether the task would be carried out effectively and what were the possible strategies that could be used in carrying out the task.

Though apprehension may have shifted to anticipation there was still some confusion especially when the preliminary study was being carried out with no intent to develop a clear focus of the study.  This confusion is mainly due to the multitude of platforms that the plan could be based on. However, all these confused feelings and perception of ability to successfully complete the task developed into a confidence with keying in on strategies that will be sought.  After development of the goals, a picture of the extent of the works that had to be carried out with respect to determining the expected impact on internal organizational systems and the effects of the strategies on organizational performance finally hit home.  It is only after information relating to the strategies that have to be implemented had been collected that the magnitude of the task that lies ahead came through.


The change in the nature of thoughts as the task progressed is another interesting area of reflection. While comprehension of the task and contemplating its significance may have been the initial reaction they were quickly substituted by prediction of outcomes. The possible outcomes acted as a path to identifying the various areas that could be focussed on.  Identification of ideas that led to focusing on specific ideas, turned into gathering pertinent information after the strategies had been formulated.  Identification of any need for additional information and consideration on the time that has been allocated the project were the key areas of interest as the information search came to a close.  Resources were thoroughly exhausted as all information that could be critical to the plan and any emerging themes were critical analysed to determine the effects that they could have on the plan.  Reflection on the research and critical analysis of the available information take centre stage as the need for perfection became more prevalent.  In general the line of thought moves from contemplation of the significance of the study to seeking intricate details regarding how the internal systems of the actual plan can be developed.


The initial stage is characterised by high levels of interaction as interaction with the team members formed the core team activity.  While the initial interactions may have been on a personal level at the initial stages this soon transformed to consultation and high use of information resources.  The need for specificity soon took control as research became the pronounced group activity and a sense of focus was sought.  Group interaction characterised by discussion on areas that should be focussed on characterise the strategy formulation phase after which research to seek specific areas being discussed is started.   Rechecking the resources for information that may have been overlooked and confirmation of the bibliographic details including the style used are some of the critical actions as the information search process as information search process were brought to a halt.  The actions generally gain more focus as the task become more specific and defined on particular subjects.


The multitude of ideas that group members come up with makes tolerating uncertainty a value that each group member should be appreciative of. Use of general sources to develop an overview of the possible approaches that may be taken in developing the market plan and toleration of inconsistencies in information are important in developing clear focused strategies.  After the business strategies that would be employed in addressing objectives had been identified search for information took on a more focussed approach with increase in need for library assistance.  Another key feature that characterised the advanced stages of the information search included need for consultation and use of multiple information resources.  Owing to a clearly developed focus the group members generally found it easy to develop consensus regarding some operational issues though there were still some technical variables that needed consultation between team members to be well understood and be incorporated into the business plan.


Change in mood is a fascinating area of reflection with respect to information search.  Introduction of the team members is primarily characterised by an invitational mood considering there is little formal interaction between the team members.  In general indicative moods were experienced in phases where there was increased interaction between the members of the team whereas invitational moods were more prevalent in task that required minimal interaction between the group members.  In tasks that involved both individual and team contribution of interaction at nearly equal level the mood was a mix of both indicative and invitational.  This later mix appeared to be ore prevalent than either indicative or invitational moods.

Task Initiation
Topic Selection
Focus Formulation
Information Collection
Search Closure
Apprehension and uncertainty
Confusions and anxiety
Realisation of extent of work
Mixture (relief and satisfaction)
Contemplation and comprehension
Predicting Outcomes
Identification of possible foci
Prediction of outcomes
Gathering Pertinent Information
Exhausting Resources
Informal chatting with others
Making Preliminary research
Becoming Informed
Interaction and becoming more informed
Increased interaction with librarian
Rechecking and confirmation
Tolerating  Uncertainty
Prediction of outcomes
Toleration of inconsistencies
Interaction and development of strategic goals
Increased research
Proper documentation
Mixed (invitational and Indicative)
Mixed (invitational and Indicative)
Mixed (invitational and Indicative)
Mixed (invitational and Indicative)
Mixed (invitational and Indicative)

Summative Evaluation

The information search process was a mix of strategies, actions, moods, thoughts and feeling that were determined by nature of interaction between team members and the level with which the objective were being met.  Some areas like mood are not easy to evaluate though there was a general trend.  This can be blamed on the differences that exist between individuals and the fact that the persona is largely influential on the mood.  As the research became more focussed, need for specificity, thoroughness and objectivity in interaction between different group members appeared to have an effect on the nature of strategies, thoughts, feelings, actions and moods of group members.

The synergy that defined the different group members must have played a critical role in near reproducing the Kulthau’s model.  My own experience of the information search process is a near reproduction of Kulthau’s model.  The main difference however is the strategy used. Groups appeared to have used a combination of individual and team efforts from start to finish of the project.  Moreover, a conflict between two of the team members that had to be resolved led to rescheduling of events that served to develop a not so clear differentiation of the strategic stages.  Use of an approach where individual team members were assigned specific tasks may have also affected the nature of actions and reduced the intensity that could have been experienced in some areas for instance decision making (Kuhlthau 2004, 45).

A general look at the entire information search process however shows that it follows the same trends as Kulthau’s model.  Though there are some differences, these can be explained by internal team issues and nature of the team that is largely determined by the challenges faced and level of communication efficiency that defined the team.  In essence, the differences are mainly due to the fact that the team was real and Kulthau’s model is ideal (Kuhlthau 1991, 370).


Battelle, J 2005. The Search. London: Nicholas Brealey

Kuhlthau, CC 1991. Inside the search process: Information seeking from the user’s perspective, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42 (5), 361-371.

Kuhlthau, CC 2004. Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services. 2nd ed.  London: Libraries Unlimited.


Cite this Reflective Report – Knowledge is Considered a Critical Factor

Reflective Report – Knowledge is Considered a Critical Factor. (2016, Nov 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/reflective-report-knowledge-is-considered-a-critical-factor/

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