Information Seeking Behaviour in The Academic Environment: A Study Of Informal Sector Entrepreneurship in Lagos State

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Odunlade, R.O
Ojo, J.O.
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Purpose: This study was carried out to investigate the information needs, seeking behaviour, as well as impact of information and influence of academic environment on informal sector entrepreneurs. Design/Methodology/Approach: A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. Five objectives and four research questions coupled with three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Three higher institutions: University of Lagos, Yaba College of Technology and Federal College of Education (Technical), all in Lagos State, Nigeria constituted the study population. Stratified random sampling technique was used to draw sample across the strata from the 3 campuses. 60% of the total population constituted the sample size. 350 copies of the questionnaire were administered out of which 243 were properly filled and returned. Findings revealed that the informal sector like any other had information needs but depended more on verbal information sources than information repositories. Results had shown that highest respondents need information on how to attract more customers within the academic environments (49.7%), while another 42.7% affirmed they needed information to make their businesses grow. The lowest respondents need information on how to finance business (28.8%). Though respondents enjoyed doing business on campus because of security, there are challenges with sales of goods when students are on vacation. The findings further revealed that library and information centres within academic environments had no impact on information seeking behaviour of the informal sector. Implications: Informal sector entrepreneurs had shown their eagerness to make use of information for variety of reasons that will guide them on how to develop their business. The implication is that all the purpose for which they use information is geared towards the growth of their business. Originality/Value; Traditionally, the hallmark of academic environment has always been teaching and learning – for knowledge acquisition which is often characterized with information seeking and usage. A typical academic environment consists of researchers, students, non- academics and service providers otherwise known as informal sector. Regardless of career and ambition in life, human beings generally seek information to deal with challenges. Informal sectors as a group of people have information needs especially when they encounter work-related problem that can be resolved through valuable information.
Staff Publications
Information Seeking Behaviour , Entrepreneurship , Academic Environment , Informal Sector
Odunlade, R.O and Ojo, J.O (2015) Information Seeking Behaviour in The Academic Environment: A Study Of Informal Sector Entrepreneurship in Lagos State.