Monash University
monash_130629.pdf (2.39 MB)

Information bricolage of welfare workers in community sector organisations

Download (2.39 MB)
posted on 2017-02-23, 04:22 authored by French, Rebecca Lea
Although community-based organisations represent a vital component of the Australian services sector, exploration of the nature of the information practices of welfare workers in these organisations has been limited so far. This research used organisational ethnography and grounded theory methods to explore the nature of information practices, and how they fit into the daily work practices of welfare workers in a small community sector organisation in Victoria, Australia. The findings of ten months of fieldwork, including interviews and observations of welfare work, have led to a deep exploration of bricolage as a way to describe both the use of resources and the processes inherent in welfare worker information practices. The thesis proposes the concept of information bricolage, or the engagement in fluid, unplanned, collaborative information practices, through the use or recombination of resources close to hand, as a way to conceptualise these practices. It explores the implications of those practices on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and implementation of informational requirements of key stakeholders such as government funders. It engages with the adequacy of the definition and conception of bricolage itself, as well as presenting a model of information bricolage in welfare work. The model describes the importance of practice, resources, knowledge and context to information bricolage, and discusses how these elements can assist in the understanding of how the practice of information bricolage allows workers to support clients and enhance service delivery outcomes in the organisation studied.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Graeme Johanson

Additional supervisor 1

Frada Burstein, Kerry Tanner, Kirsty Williamson.

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Information Technology (Monash University Caulfield)


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Information Technology