Information Technology and Management

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 291–304 | Cite as

Ambidextrous information search: linking personal and impersonal search routines with individual performance

  • Dong-Hee Shin
  • Min Jae Choi


Organizations invest resources to develop information capabilities, to utilize personal and impersonal information. While the utilization of knowledge is likely to improve organizational performance, it is unclear what the consequences of utilizing personal and impersonal sources of information are for individuals. This study sought to increase understanding of the performance implications of using personal and impersonal information, by examining four business units of a large financial institution. Utilizing competing theoretical models, we tested whether personal and impersonal sources of information substituted for, or complemented each other. The results indicated that individuals who utilized information from personal and impersonal sources of knowledge in a complementary fashion had superior performance. Parsing impersonal knowledge sourcing, we found that the use of specific impersonal information repositories increased performance, while the use of general impersonal information decreased performance. In general, this study shed light on the origins of individual knowledge capabilities, and indicated that individuals gain advantages, by engaging in particular knowledge-sourcing routines.


Information search Personal search Impersonal search Individual performance Information seeking behavior 



This paper was supported by Samsung Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2014.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interaction ScienceSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Korea Press FoundationSeoulKorea

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