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Seven pillars and five minds: small business workplace information literacy.

Lockerbie, Hayley; Williams, Dorothy


Hayley Lockerbie

Dorothy Williams


Purpose: To develop and test a theoretical framework for understanding information literacy (IL) within the context of a small business workplace environment. The theoretical framework developed related IL competencies to competencies for success as described by the psychologist Howard Gardner in his book “Five Minds for the Future”. Design: A theoretical framework was developed using the CILIP Seven Pillars for Information Literacy and Howard Gardner’s Five Minds theory. Indicative connections between the Seven Pillars and Five Minds were identified by the researchers. The framework was tested through analysis of transcripts from qualitative interviews conducted with four small business owners. Findings: Connections were found between the Seven Pillars and the Five Minds; some which had been projected by the researchers and others which had not. The theoretical framework aided description of and understanding of IL within small business workplace environments. Research limitations/implications: A small sample size limits the generalisability of the findings, and further testing of the framework is required. The findings do, however, suggest that the context in which IL manifests remains significant and should be further examined in wider and divergent contexts. Originality/value: Using theory from psychology paired with a well-known theory of IL to develop a new theoretical framework is novel. The framework developed offers a new way of understanding the role of IL within the context of small business workplaces.


LOCKERBIE, H. and WILLIAMS, D. 2019. Seven pillars and five minds: small business workplace information literacy. Journal of documentation [online], 75(5), pages 977-994. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 9, 2019
Publication Date Oct 31, 2019
Deposit Date May 28, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 9, 2019
Journal Journal of Documentation
Print ISSN 0022-0418
Electronic ISSN 1758-7379
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 5
Pages 977-994
Keywords Information literacy; Small to medium-sized enterprises; Theory; Competences; Workplace; Information research
Public URL


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