A multi-dimensional construct of perceived information pollution in the era of rife infollution

Pages162-180
Publication Date13 May 2019
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-10-2018-0093
Date13 May 2019
AuthorQaisar Iqbal,Shaohua Yang,Rashid Nawaz,Khalid Iqbal
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
A multi-dimensional construct
of perceived information pollution
in the era of rife infollution
Qaisar Iqbal
School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia
Shaohua Yang
Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia
Rashid Nawaz
Department ofMathematics, University ofEducation, Attock Campus, Pakistan, and
Khalid Iqbal
Department of Computer Science, COMSAT University Islamabad,
Attock Campus, Pakistan
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to evaluate employees perception regarding information pollution and
determined the factorsthat lead to perceived infollution. In the case of this study, a four-dimensionalscale of
perceived infollutionis presented. In addition, this study quantied informationpollution in contrast to using
the measurementtools of information quality.
Design/methodology/approach A sequential exploratorymixed-method design was used to validate
the measurement scale. The population of the present study comprised of the employees who work in the
operations and credit departmentof banking sector. In this study, a four-dimensional second-order scale of
perceived information pollutionwith a total of 19 items or sub-dimensions managed to be developed using
exploratoryfactor analysis and conrmatory factor analysis.
Findings The measurement scale conrmed that perceived information pollution in the context of
workplace environment consisted of four dimensions, namely, intrinsic PIP, accessible PIP, contextual PIP
and representationalPIP where PIP stands for Perceived Information Pollution.
Research limitations/implications Management may use the four dimensions as a benchmark in
revealingpolluted information as well as enhancing information qualitythrough information processing.
Originality/value This is the rst attempt of exploringthe dimensions and validating the measurement
scale of perceivedinfollution.
Keywords Big data, Data quality, Information quality, Linear relationship,
Exponential relationship, Rife infollution
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Information provides a competitive edge in the business world whereby its rawest form
Dataare turned into a set of information in the dictionary of informatics, and nally, the
wisdom level of information is reachedwhen it is internalized by organizations. Apart from
raw data, elements of the digital world such as social media, websites, and blogs act as the
source of information for individuals. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge the rapid
dissemination and transmission of information throughout the world which have allowed
VJIKMS
49,2
162
Received28 October 2018
Revised18 December 2018
Accepted31 December 2018
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.49 No. 2, 2019
pp. 162-180
© Emerald Publishing Limited
2059-5891
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-10-2018-0093
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2059-5891.htm
humanity to have unlimited access to knowledge. However, it is detrimental when
individuals become addicted to sharing or spreading information unconsciously. More
importantly, it negativelyaffects individuals of information society due to the availability of
information in large volumes. As argued by Nielsen (2003), global empowerment to
individuals providesnegative impact over the management of information.
Regarding this matter, it is crucial to note the increasing amount of data by 35
per cent-50 per cent on annual basis within organizations. Specically, the volume of
data doubles every two years with respect to a growth rate of 40 per cent per annum.
Ultimately, organizations are required to process more than 60 terabytes of information
on annual basis (Beath et al., 2012). Currently, it should be noted that information
generation and processing are higher than the revenue growth within organizations. As
pointed out by JC (1996), excessive information hinders the development of knowledge
and policymaking which tends to negatively impact well-being. Apart from that,
organizations have to bear the consequences in the form of litigation (Swar et al.,2017).
More importantly, excessive information results in the emergence of information
pollution which leads to a complex dilemma. According to Iqbal and Nawaz (2019),
information quantity is increasing on exponential basis where information pollution
emerges as a problem that is also rising in parallel to. As a result, organizations are
presented with no choice but to deal with information pollution in ensuring their
survival and competitive edge in the current era. In addition, Bawden (2001) also
established information pollution as a critical issue. Meanwhile, Edmunds and Morris
(2000) added that information explosion can signicantly affect employees
performance and satisfaction. In other words, excessive information puts the employees
at the edge which requires them to deal with information pollution (Özdemir, 2016).
On a similar note, diverse information sources are also considered as a source of
information pollution. Boerman and Van Reijmersdal (2016) further stated that print media
without any undocumented advertising policy is also a source of information pollution.
Meanwhile, information technology is regarded as a major source of interruption and
distraction (Karr-Wisniewski and Lu, 2010) which is believed to lead to lower quality
decision-making. More specically, employees are faced with six times hourly interruption
due to the messages sent to them which seems to negatively impact the process of decision-
making (Swar et al., 2017).
The rapid ubiquity of information has brought unprecedented opportunities for
learning, creativity, innovation and performance. Nevertheless, it is an important
challenge to understand how to leverage these opportunities, particularly from the
academic and managerial perspectives. However, it is difcult for individuals, groups,
and organizations to properly attend and employ to a large amount of information
(Iqbal et al., 2018b). More importantly, perpetual availability of information has led to
information pollution (Iqbal and Nawaz, 2019). In this case, excessive information
increases the costs of collecting, storing and sharing information; leads to biases in
decision-making; and provides means for distraction from information that may be
more relevant or from the job itself. In other words, the emergence of information
pollution comes in diverse formats which make the process of obtaining quality
information exhausting due to the increased information sources. Being a novel
research area, there is scant of literature on the information pollution (Iqbal et al.,
2018a). Furthermore, Iqbal and Nawaz (2019) have suggested to explore and investigate
the ways to develop strategies dealing with this problem in the era of industry 4.0.
Therefore, it is undeniable that information pollution is regarded as one of the critical
challenges in the twenty-rst century. The current study aims to explore and provide a
Perceived
information
pollution
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