Interview Schedule

The purpose of this interview schedule is to elicit responses regarding information culture in relation to records management in Sundsvall and Harnosand municipalities. (A third case study might be added if permission to carry out research is granted). The questions are directed at different categories of personnel. Information culture and the way it influences records management is an area that has not been explored. In 2010, Douglas defined information culture as: “an emerging complex system of values, attitudes and behaviours that influence how information is used in an organization. Information culture exists in the context of and is influenced by an organizational culture and the wider environment” (Douglas, 2010:388). The data that will be collected will enable me to answer my research questions and hence contribute to a better understanding of how information culture impacts records management. The interview will be 45 minutes long and upon consent of the interviewee, it will be recorded.

According to research on information culture (Oliver, 2011, Douglas, 2010, Choo et al. 2008) attitudes, norms and values impact the way records are handled in an organization. This is what constitutes an information culture espoused by an organization. This research applies Oliver’s (2011) framework for assessment of information culture in organizations. The framework constitutes three levels:

Level 1 is the fundamental layer of an organization’s culture and among many it includes, respect for information as evidence, respect for information as knowledge, willingness to share information and trust in information.

Level 2 addresses employee skills, knowledge and experience related to information management.

Level 3 is about information governance and trust in organization information systems.

Level One Respect for records as evidence, Respect for information as knowledge, willingness to share information and Trust in Information.

  • 1. Is the management of records prioritized and integrated in the business processes? If yes, how is this done?
  • 2. Are there professional staff employed to undertake records management?
  • 3. What function does the records management staff have in the organization? What type of responsibilities do they have and do you have contact with them and if yes, for what?
  • 4. Are you actively informed about the way you should handle public records? If so, is it management or the records professionals? Is this something positive or negative to your work?
  • 5. Do you consider records management to be part of your responsibilities?
  • 6. Are you aware of the laws governing the records that you receive or produce?
  • 7. Do you think these laws are necessary? If yes, explain why.
  • 8. Does the municipality leave up to these laws?
  • 9. Are there common systems to facilitate the use of each other’s records?
  • 10. Do you reuse and trust the records?
  • 11. Are there any significant barriers to re-use such as insufficient access to information systems?
  • 12. How do you retrieve records and what retrieval methods do you use?
  • 13. What efforts are put into the effective capture, organization and management of records?
  • 14. Does the municipality have records management systems where records are preserved with metadata?

Level Two Skills, knowledge and experience related to records management, which can be acquired and/or extended in the workplace:

  • 1. What is your understanding of records management? What does it involve?
  • 2. Do you receive training in records management?
  • 3. Is training in records management considered important by management?
  • 4. How do you perceive your records management skills to be?
  • 5. How do you think the way you handle records affects they are preserved?
  • 6. What are the consequences of bad records management?
  • 7. Are international standards applied to the management of records in the organization?
  • 8. Does your unit meet to discuss and plan the management of records and is there collaboration among unit members?

Level Three Records Governance Model and Trust in organizational systems.

The records governance model is reflected in the degree of coherence of the overall records architecture (Oliver, 2011). Oliver makes reference to Davenport’s (1997) different information models that can be found in organizations and these include, information federalism, information feudalism, information monarchy, information anarchy and technocratic utopia. Trust in organizational systems is about the employees trust in in-house records management systems.

  • 1. How does management deal with records management?
  • 2. Does management expressly demand that you handle public information according to the laws governing it?
  • 3. Is there a records management policy?
  • 4. Are there records management schedules?
  • 5. Are they adhered to?
  • 6. What challenges does the organization face in maintaining records based on best practice.
  • 7. How are records management challenges resolved in the organization?
  • 8. Do you use the information systems put in place to manage records?
  • 9. Are records withheld from systems?
  • (2012.08.30)

Accountability, transparency, and Cl

the role of information 7

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