Company Taxonomy development: The case of an international emergency response organization

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


– The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretically and empirically the understanding and implementation of an information taxonomy in the UN organization World Food Programme (WFP) by analysing users’ information behaviour and by establishing a minimum set of cross-silo metadata (taxonomy).
– The study implies the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. This includes desk review of key documents and interviews with information architecture staff from various WFP units; data collection carried out as semi-structured staff interviews in WFP; log analyses of search log-files from WFP intranet portal (WFPgo) from September to November 2013, the results were applied and a suggested taxonomy tested at workshops conducted for the staff in headquarters.
– The results reveal an organization with a high demand for easier access to information and knowledge, greater internal collaborations and stronger links with various sources of knowledge. Staff participating in the various workshops pointed out that work processes as well as the human resources component cannot be left out of a solution development.
– There has been little research carried out on current taxonomy projects in corporate environments and international emergency response organizations and few has touched on how knowledge organization systems can enhance or constrain staff’s ability to access online content.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAslib Journal of Information Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)193 - 211
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Information and knowledge management, Card sorting, Company taxonomy, Information architecture, Knowledge organization systems, Log analyses

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