Electronic Records Research 1997: Resource Materials

Compilation Copyright, Archives & Museum Informatics 1998
Article Copyright, Author

Bibliography on Electronic Records

Organizations and Business Processes

Attewell, Paul. "Technology Diffusion and Organizational Learning: The Case of Business Computing." Organizations Science
(Abstract taken from Introduction).
In the article, Attewell reviews established theories of innovation diffusion, and summarizes recent criticisms made of them. [He] then constructs a perspective on technology diffusion that places at its core the issue of organizational learning and know-how. Survey, interview, and archival data on the recent diffusion of business computing are then analyzed, in order to demonstrate the empirical validity of this new theoretical formulation and its utility in explaining institutional patterns of diffusion.

Barnet, Robert. Why the Paperless Office Miscarried. Belconnen, Australia: Robert Barnett and Associates, June 1993.
Barnett, an Australian forms and records management consultant, contends that predictions of the "paperless office" have not been met primarily because the predictors have not fully considered the nature of forms design, the manner in which people use forms and information technology, the cultural reliance on paper, and a variety of other aspects. The author then suggests advice for how to design forms, electronic and paper, and provides suggestions for further reading.

Barry, Richard E. "The Changing Workplace and the Nature of the Record." Unpublished. (June 1995)
(Abstract taken from Introduction).
In this paper, [the author] will attempt to develop these ideas [concerning workplace changes] by drawing from [his] own experiences in the planning and implementation of IM&T projects, related business systems analysis projects and, more recently, ARM experiences. [The author] will summarize those experiences chronologically to highlight some of the ways in which the workplace has been transformed in terms of work patterns, technology, interests and analytical tools during the past three decades, drawing lessons along the way, most of them with the clearer vision of hindsight and, [he] hopes, not too much euphoric recall.

Bearman, David. "Managing Electronic Mail." Archives and Manuscripts 22, no. 1 (May 1994): 28-50.
(Abstract provided).
Electronic mail is a new way of transporting communications which creates a new documentary form of record. The question of how to manage electronic mail as a record is one that will confront management in every contemporary organization within the next few years. This article explores the issues associated with the management of electronic mail which combine the requirements for correspondence control and filing present in paper-based communications systems with the functional requirements for managing any electronic record keeping system. The author applies a generic framework for managing electronic records to define an approach to accountable corporate management of electronic mail. He notes in conclusion that the resultant system provides advantages over traditional paper-based systems in the archives and records management area as well as for users.

Bikson, Tora K. Understanding the Implementation of Office Technology, The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, June 1987.
(Abstract taken from report).
What leads to the successful introduction of new office technology in an organization? This question was addressed in a survey of 55 work groups using advanced office technology in 26 organizations. Success includes the extent to which the technology is used, the users' satisfaction with it and with the jobs they perform using it, and improvements in organizational performance. Features of the organization itself, features of the technology, and the process by which the technology is introduced into the organization all play a role. For example, work groups in which computerized jobs retain variety, in which workers have exclusive use of a workstation, have electronic mail, an functional software, and in which the implementation used a balanced social and technical approach and encouraged worker participation in the introduction process all had more successful implementations. The chapter concludes with observations about areas where technology, implementation process, and research all need improvement.

Bikson, Tora K., and J. D. Eveland. "The Interplay of Work Group Structures and Computer Support." in Intellectual Teamwork, 245-290. eds. R. Kraut, J. Galeafror, and C. Egido. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbawn, 1990.
(Abstract taken from chapter). When members of task groups communicate through computers instead of traditional means, much about the group could change: group structure, intensity of communication, interaction across physical barriers, and the work process. This chapter probes these issues by reviewing a year-long field experiment among active workers and retirees planning a company's retirement policy. The study shows many effects of computer communication. Among other findings, the study shows that computer communication can help reduce barriers to social interaction in distributed groups and can broaden leadership roles.

Bikson, Tora K., Cathleen Stasz, and Donald Mankin. Computer-Mediated Work: Individual and Organizational Impact in One Corporate Headquarters, The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, November 1985.
(Abstract taken from Preface).
This report describes how computer-based information technology was introduced into one white-collar work setting and explores the consequences to employees and the organization. The research extends prior work on information systems in varied user contexts and illustrates factors that underlie successful technological innovation in organizations. The project reported here relies on two lines of previous Rand research: studies of technology transfer and utilization, and studies of organizational innovation. These lines of inquiry converge on the question of how technical advances can most successfully be translated into applied benefits. Recent Rand research on advanced information tools in office settings suggests the importance of implementation process characteristics for successful organizational innovation. That research provides the immediate context for this case study.

Bikson, Tora, C. Stasz, and J. D. Eveland. "Plus CA Change, Plus CA Change: A Long-term Look at one Technological Innovation." Unpublished.
This paper provides a detailed look at one organization where the transition to a set of computer-based information tools has -- by most criteria -- reached a very late stage. The findings are intended to shed light on how well conceptions of implementation and routinization drawn from previous literature accord with the experiences of organizations that have undergone computerization. They are also used to suggest how late-stage challenges may differ from issues that arise earlier in the process of embedding information technology in organized work.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin. "Information in the Business Enterprise." Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 261-268. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
In this paper, information in the business enterprise is classified as implicit, operation, or strategic. Implicit information is held in the organizational memory (for example, the description of office routine) and is rarely recorded or preserved. Operational data is used for day-to-day control of the business (for example, for the collection of customer payments) and is usually recorded but rarely preserved. Strategic information (for example, board papers and minutes, or research reports) is usually recorded and preserved. The impact of evolving technology on these forms of information is discussed using historical examples.

Cox, Richard J. "Archives and Archivists in the Twenty-First Century: What Will We Become?" Archival Issues 20, no. 1 (1995): 97-113.
(Abstract Provided).
Archivists have become more prone in the past decade to speculate on their future. This essay argues that such speculation should be grounded in the current trends of changes of organizations and the society these organizations reside in and reflect. The author uses two well-known tomes, stressing reengineering and reinventing, as a foundation for tracking these changes and arguing what archivists should be focused on as they cope in rapidly transforming organizations and society. The author concludes that many of these changes should bring a greater opportunity for archives and archivists to meet the archival mission.

Fulk, Janet. "Social Construction of Communication Technology." Academy of Management Journal 36, no. 5 (1993): 921-950.
(Abstract provided).
According to social constructivist theories of communication technology in organizations, work group members share identifiable patterns of meaning and action concerning communication technology. Empirical evidence of these patterns was found in a study of electronic mail use among a group of scientists and engineers. Social influences on technology-related attitudes and behavior were consistently stronger when individuals were highly attracted to their work groups. For individuals with low attraction, the specific patterns of influence were consistent with predictions from conformity research for compliance effects only; for those with high attraction, both compliance and internalization effects emerged.

Grygo, Eugene M. "Doc Management Jogs National Semi's Corporate Memory." Client/Server Computing (February 1995): 16, 26.
The author describes the National Semiconductor Corp.'s installation of a client/server implementation that incorporates full text search and retrieval capabilities to address employee's requests to share information across the corporation.

Higgs, Edward. "Historians, Archivists and Electronic Record Keeping in UK Government." Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 37-48. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
This paper will set the archiving of computer-readable records in the legal and cultural context of record keeping in government. Archiving in the UK central state is something which happens once records are 'dead', i.e. are long outside the business cycle. But if electronic records are to be captured this needs to be written into systems. How, or should, one attempt to centralize data collection from a dispersed (chaotic?) IT infrastructure in institutions rife with 'short-termism'? The paper will also cover the distinction between the requirements of social science and 'hermeneutic' historians.

Joshi, Kailash. "A Model of User's Perspective on Change: The Case of Information Systems Technology Implementation." MIS Quarterly 15 (June 1991): 229-42.
This article explores the use of the "equity-implementation model" for understanding how people respond to information technology changes within their organizations. This model basically suggests that not all change is viewed as bad and that an individual's response to change will be profoundly affected by that individual's "assessment" of the personal gains and losses caused by the change. The article includes an excellent bibliography and summarizes ways that organizations can ease the impact of change on their employees. This is a useful theoretical model for understanding the dimensions of change and resistance to change.

McDonald, John. "Managing Records in the Modern Office: Taming the Wild Frontier." Archivaria 39 (March 1995): 70-79.
(Abstract Provided).
From a record-keeping perspective, the modern office is like the wild frontier. Office workers can create and send electronic messages and documents to whomever they wish. They can store them according to their own individual needs and then delete them without turning to anyone else for approval. There are no rules of the road. The autonomy of the individual reigns supreme! In developing record-keeping solutions, however, we need to understand the evolution that is taking place in the use of office systems technologies. In recent years there has been a gradual shift from the wild frontier, where distinct software tools such as word processing, spreadsheets, and e-mail (designed to enhance individual productivity) are the norm, to a more settled landscape characterized by integrated software supporting directly the automation of work processes (designed to enhance organizational effectiveness). This article traces this evolution and argues that as law and order come to the wold frontier, they will present archivists and records managers with exciting opportunities to influence the way that records are managed.

McIntosh, Lowrie W. "Information Technology and Public Records: Emerging Issues in the Next Five Years: Providing Guidelines and Forcast Data for Planning." International Journal of Micrographics & Optical Technology 10, no. 4 (1992): 187-190.
McIntosh asserts that most offices do not fully explore the potential of the computer technology available to them in their own organizations and, without proper planning, it will continue to be under utilized. The author goes on to outline his suggestions for implementing a MACRO plan to enable the full potential of the organization's software, hardware, as well as users and technical support, to be implemented.

Miller, W. "Information Technology: Creation or Evolution?" Journal of Systems Management 42, no. 4 (April 1991): 23-27.
Drawing on the "theory of punctuated equilibrium" from paleobiology, the author suggests that an organization's use of information technology goes through "periods of little or no change punctuated by sudden and sometimes catastrophic change." [23] Miller identifies the factors influencing the rate of change as business, human, and technology factors. He suggests that the organization can then segment the development and use of technology into "small chunks that will deliver a usable product." Miller argues that "by working with the system, and through gradual learning, the computer user can specify improvements. High-return improvements can be worked into the design by incorporating the changes into the next small chunk. The result is a successful system that evolves over time." [26].

Schneider, Dan. A Unified Federal Government Electronic Mail Users' Support Environment (M.U.S.E.), U.S. Integrated Services Panel, Washington, DC, December 1993.
(Abstract provided).
This report is not a system design. It is a vision of an infrastructure to support recommendations in the National Performance Review and in the National Information Infrastructure concerning the re-engineering of the government's business processes. It contains functional statements of what is needed to migrate the delivery of services now using the paper mails to delivery via the electronic mode of operation know as electronic mail. The functional statements include a comprehensive set of operational characteristics at what telecommunications professionals call the "application layer."

Simpson, Helen. "The Management of Electronic Information Resources in a Corporate Environment." Electronic Information Resources and Historians: European Perspectives, Eds. Seamus Ross, and Edward Higgs, 24-36. The British Academy, London, 25 June 1926. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1993.
(Abstract provided).
Large multinational corporations produce and acquire vast volumes of information in the course of their business. Information Management strategies are being developed in many large organizations to manage this asset effectively, enabling the organization to achieve crucial business objectives, in addition to controlling costs. Electronic systems have long been used for data, but as increasing volumes of information and records are also created and stored electronically issues are raised by its creating organization, so how does the culture, organization and pace of change within the company affect the management of information, particularly its availability for use by third parties in the longer term?

Sirbu, Marvin, Sandor Schoichet, Jay S. Kunin, Michael Hammer, and Juliet Sutherland. "OAM: An Office Analysis Methodology." Behaviour and Information Technology 3, no. 1 (1984): 25-39.
(Abstract provided).
OAM is a functionally oriented office analysis methodology which provides guidance in preparing an office study, collecting information from office staff, and organizing and presenting the results. It is well suited to semi-structured offices and provides the appropriate level of detail for making decisions regarding the design and justification of a computerized office information system. An evaluation of OAM by several using organizations shows it to be an efficient, effective, teachable methodology. OAM was perceived by users to improve significantly the functionality of office information systems implemented after an OAM study by comparison with task oriented study methodologies.

Stasz, Cathleen, Tora K. Bikson, and Norman Z. Shapiro. Assessing the Forest Service's Implementation of an Agency-Wide Information System, The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 1986.
(Abstract taken from document).
This report describes the implementation of a new agency-wide information system in the United States Forest Service (USFS) and explores the impact of the system on individuals and the organization. The findings of the study should prove valuable to public and private sector organizations that are attempting to incorporate electronic tools into office work.

Last Modified: 8/14/96 [kjb]

Bibliography on Electronic Records

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