Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Library and Information Science


Leadership is often responsible for behavior change in their organizations. This paper outlines a context-based model—utilizing existing theories and models in Knowledge Management and Library and Information Science—to increase leadership’s effectiveness in this area. The Knowing Model approaches behavior change as an issue of information content, dissemination, and use of that information—all within a complex environment with additional social barriers. A behavior—one that an organization has unsuccessfully attempted to change in the past—is identified by leadership. These previous attempts serve as a baseline from which to measure success of the proposed model. The target behavior change is one that is considered beneficial by both leadership and other organizational members. Leaders analyze the existing social field and context surrounding this behavior. They consider whether or not individuals are aware of previous efforts to change the behavior, the extent to which they integrated this as knowledge, the extent to which individuals actually changed their behavior, and perceived threats related to not adopting the behavior. Through a careful analysis of a variety of factors surrounding these issues, the Knowing Model proposes strategies for a new information dissemination campaign that should be more successful in changing behavior. As leadership learns more about organizational members, they can change the content of information about a behavior change to account for barriers to its adoption. The model includes ways to measure various stages and strategies to take at each stage. There is extant literature about how to provide access to information that people want. This model continues research about information people do not want—information avoidance—by outlining strategies for overcoming it in organizational contexts. In addition, it adds an action element that suggests the possibility that information—when strategically informed and developed—can change organizational behavior.