Business organizations have become interested in recognizing gatekeepers who may improve business prospects through informal external communication. Past research has identified gatekeepers within organizations, but no technique existed for identifying gatekeepers among groups of people working in an industry, profession, or other external group. This paper develops and tests a simple rule for identifying gatekeepers among members of a profession with a common group of potential interpersonal communication channels. The rule is used to classify gatekeepers among information technology professionals, based on self-reported information dissemination behavior. The rule passes five tests that compare the characteristics and information-seeking strategies of individuals classified using this rule with other members of the profession. The results of the study confirm that self-reported information dissemination behavior can be used to identify gatekeepers among individuals with diverse information-gathering behaviors, but a common group of potential interpersonal communication channels.
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Information Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|