Ethnographic sensitivity and current recordkeeping: Applying information culture analysis in the workplace

Gillian Oliver, Fiorella Foscarini, Craigie Sinclair, Catherine Nicholls, Lydia Loriente

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on the application of information culture analysis techniques in the workplace. The paper suggests that records managers should use ethnographic sensitivity, if they want to have a constructive dialogue with records creators and users, and effect positive change in their organisations. Design/methodology/approach: Two pilot studies were conducted in university settings for the purpose of testing an information culture assessment toolkit. The university records managers who carried out the investigation approached the fieldwork ethnographically, in the sense that they were interested in the perspectives of their end users, and tried to understand their information cultures, rather than imposing their recordkeeping concepts and procedures. Findings: Information culture analysis was of practical utility in large complex organisations, providing an insight into behaviours, motivations, and most importantly promoted reflection and dialogue among organisational actors. Originality/value: The paper raises awareness of the diversity of professional skills and knowledge required by records practitioners. It emphasises that to remain relevant to their organisations, records managers have to be receptive and sensitive to cultural influences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-186
    Number of pages12
    JournalRecords Management Journal
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2018

    Keywords

    • Ethnography
    • Information culture
    • Universities

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