Towards information leadership

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Huvila, Isto


Aslib Journal of Info Mgmt, Volume 66, Number 6, p.663–677 (2014)



Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to propose information leadership as a concept for describing the activity of leading information processes in organisations and in the society, and consequently, to distinguish and articulate the influence and consequences of making decisions about the use, organisation and management of information resources and information infrastructures. Design/methodology/approach: To complement the earlier observations of the usefulness of making an analytical distinction between information and knowledge, and management and leadership within information management/knowledge management, this paper posits that it is useful to distinguish information and knowledge leadership as two separate yet inherently connected processes of orchestrating respectively information infrastructures and resources, and the processes of knowing in an organisation. Findings: This paper defines information leadership as the leadership of information resources and infrastructures in contrast to the leadership of social knowledge processes, knowing and organisational learning. The distinction helps to explicate the informational premises of knowledge in organisations, articulate the difference of the infrastructural and social forms of leadership and to be more explicit about the respective consequences of information and information infrastructures and knowledge held and practised within an organisation and on its boundaries. Practical implications: The concept of information leadership can be used both for describing the activity of leading the development and using information resources and infrastructures in organisations, and for articulating the influence and consequences of making decisions about the use, organisation and management of information resources and information infrastructures. Originality/value: To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first time information leadership is defined comprehensively in the context of information and knowledge management and specifically in relation to knowledge leadership.

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