Effektiv och transparent, men subjektiv och sårbar : En studie av arkivariers syn på den verksamhetsbaserade arkivredovisningen
Sammanfattning: The focus of the thesis is to investigate how four university archivists perceive the functionality of the new Swedish process-oriented archival description system. University archivists are at the center of the study since the organizational structure of a university is process-oriented to some degree. However universities still have activities that are more challenging to view as processes, such as research. Universities were thus identified as a suitable candidate to analyze how process-oriented archival description functions in an environment that both is and is not clearly process-oriented. The research questions posed in this study are all related to the new archival description model, and archivists own experiences and views of the system. The main questions in the study concern the functionality of the system, its durability (if there is a repeated call for modification of the model), how the archival description system works with organizations that are not process-oriented, as well as if the system can operate as a finding aid in a long term perspective. The theoretical aim of the study is based around two different and sometimes contrasting views on the nature of archival records; namely the life cycle- and continuum-model. According to the life cycle-perspective records follow a linear-path from birth to death, reaching pre-destined pit stops along the way. The continuum theorists imagine records not as linear but as multifaceted, having multiple lives and never reaching a “death”-state. In Sweden, earlier research has shown that the life cycle-model has dominated the archival scene, but the new process-oriented archival description system could open up for a continuum-related approach. This study shows that no archivist made any statements that hinted in a continuum-way of thinking, and the results rather substantiated earlier research claiming the dominance of the life cycle-model. Investigation results show that three out of four archivists don’t believe that the archival description model is suitable for universities, as the organizational structure is not process-oriented. All of the archivists are struggling with describing activities as process-based, and three out of four archivists claim that description ends upcontrived. All archivists however concur that the positive effects of the system could result in government agencies increases transparency and accountability, but only if the system works as intended. The long term durability of the description model is also put in question from three out of four archivists. All archivists additionally regard the model as sensitive to organizational changes, and all universities are preparingfor and expecting numerous future modifications. The conclusion of the study is that the process-oriented archival description system is difficult to apply to organizations that have activities with unclear processes. The results furthermore indicate that the system needs continuous effort to maintain, due to the nature of ever changing organizations. As a finding aid the model is viewed as flawed, as the classification schema will be revised several times, which will certainly demand that the user have assistance in understanding the schema. All archivists claim that the archival function (and not the classification schema) of the university will be the main search tool for all users in the future.
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