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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8194||2008||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 28, Issue 4, August 2008, Pages 293–304
Records are increasingly becoming electronic. Both public and private organizations are more and more making information and records only available to their employees, customers and constituents on such a format. Electronic Records Management Systems (ERMS) are, therefore, increasingly being implemented to manage the records of many organizations. The purpose of this research paper was to examine the use of ERMS in organizations in Iceland. It identifies which records by form or type, either created in-house or received, are captured into ERMS. The methods of registering records into ERMS, the registration parameters, are identified as well as the search parameters, the methods of searching for records in the ERMS. Other findings are that the capturing of records is not the distributed effort that the systems are designed for. Records mangers are often responsible for capturing records of others and sometimes carry the total burden as for incoming facsimile messages. Several forms and types of records do not find their way into the system. E-mail is the record form that most employees neglected to capture into ERMS. It neither became a part of the file for paper records. The absence of e-mail in the records collection leaves a huge gap in the memory of many organizations today.
This study was designed to gain an understanding of how Electronic Records Management Systems (ERMS) were being implemented and used. No such research had been conducted in Iceland before, and only a few descriptive accounts have recently become available on the implementation of such systems in other countries. No prior studies were available on how ERMS were actually being used. That is the topic of this paper. ERMS are information systems designed to capture and manage records in any format according to the organization's record-keeping principles. They are designed to manage records from the time that they were created or appear until they are disposed of, either destroyed or put into permanent storage. ERMS support knowledge management (KM) as an important part of the organizational memory is preserved as records. How employees use ERMS in their work is the focus of this research paper. It examines how employees enter records into ERMS and subsequently how they search for these records. There was a strong relationship between the important implementation factors and the level of use (Gunnlaugsdottir, 2008). This paper does not discuss the implementation. ERMS also have various important features, such as access control, security issues and protection of privacy, but these are not covered here. The following discussion is organized into six sections starting with a presentation of the methodology used. Four themes were explored in the research as a part of studying the use: (1) forms and types of records created in-house captured into ERMS, (2) forms and types of records received from others captured into ERMS, (3) methods of registering records into ERMS—the registration parameters and (4) methods of searching for and retrieving records in ERMS—the search parameters. These four themes are covered in 3, 4, 5 and 6. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The records managers were asked to identify the forms and types of records created in-house that were to be captured into ERMS. In short, it can be stated that records in the form of letters, e-mail, e-mail attachments, other electronic formats, faxes, films, photographs, drawings and so on should be captured into ERMS. The same applied to record types like cases, minutes from meetings, reports, plans, agreements, contracts, certificates, memos and other types, including material published by the organization. The actual situation was not quite what the records managers would have liked. The organizations differed mainly in how conscientious their employees were in capturing letters into ERMS. The situation was poor in this respect in the two organizations with the lowest level of expected users working in ERMS, that is, the City Organization and the Manufacturing Firm, but much better in the Government Institution, and very good in the Financial Institute with every user capturing letters into the ERMS. The organizations showed a similar pattern regarding the capture of e-mail, but the situation was worse. When it came to faxes, the records managers in all four organizations were responsible for capturing these into ERMS. A similar situation existed with some types of records, like minutes from meetings, plans, drawings, and agreements and contracts. Here, again there was a division of labour and only a few individuals were supposed to capture these types of records into ERMS. The records managers were the ones responsible for this function as could be seen when the capturing of records was examined by job function. They seemed to capture records comprehensively into ERMS. E-mail stood out as the record form that employees neglected to capture into ERMS. Outgoing e-mail was frequently not captured, even in the Government Institution that otherwise followed good RM practices. E-mail that was not captured into ERMS was neither printed out nor captured in that manner to become a part of the file for paper records. In many organizations all e-mail is eventually deleted from the electronic mail systems to make room for new incoming and outgoing e-mail. This means that an important part of the records of the organization is becoming lost every day with no hope of salvation, although some organizations may make back-up copies of their mail system. However, searching for such records that have not been captured in any systematic manner is no easy task. E-mail seems to be a problem not only in relation to ERMS but to ERM in general. In the survey that the Iceland National Archives made of ERM in public organizations in 2004 the majority of respondents neither registered nor filed e-mail as part of these systems. E-mail records were filed with the employee in question outside of the system, according to 63% of those responding (National Archives, 2005). This situation was similar in the USA. In a survey conducted by Cohasset Associates (Williams, 2004) 59% of the respondent's organizations did not have any formal e-mail retention policy and 65% of the respondents reported that electronic records were not included in their organization's record holds. This situation has been improving, but still in the year 2007, 44% of respondents reported that electronic records were not included in their organization's record holds (Williams & Ashley, 2007). The capturing of electronic records in large industrial companies has been equally disturbing: e-mail messages were automatically deleted after 1 year, even as soon as after 14 days in these companies (Saffady, 2002). E-mail is the modern way to communicate and it is of great concern if those e-mail records that are of value are not being preserved for posterity. The absence of e-mail leaves a huge gap in the organizational memory of any organization. When it comes to records by form and type that were received by the organizations the role of the records managers became more important. The records managers received many of these records and saw to it that they were captured into ERMS. A major exception in this case was again e-mail that did not enter the organization through one channel. The Government Institution received all e-mail through one channel and subsequently distributed it to the persons that it was addressed to. It thus became possible to capture incoming e-mail into ERMS centrally. This method made it also possible to ensure that important e-mail was replied to. When employees registered records that they created into ERMS a number of important parameters were registered automatically, such as the name of the sender or the receiver, the date and the case number. The creator of the record had to select a class in the FCS in order to be able to save the record, but further registration was optional. Three drop-down lists could be used to select one or more parameters, such as the subject and the form and the type of the record. Of these three options the form was most often selected but subject came as a close second. The type of record was not as frequently selected. A very similar profile emerged for the records received by the organizations. The registration parameters are important because they aid the user in searching for the record at a later date. ERMS offer many ways for this search. The name of the sender or the receiver was by far the most commonly used search parameter. The date came second and also connected to a name, with the option to search in recent records. The function of being able to screen recent records by name and date is a useful feature, now employed in many e-mail systems as well. The third option was free text search. Employees seemed to remember whether they were looking for a letter or e-mail. They were just as likely to use the form as the search parameter as they were to select the subject in order to find the record. A search for frequently used records could not be used in the ERMS in two of the organizations. Given that limitation, it was not quite as commonly used as searching for the record type. The file number or class in the FCS came toward the end in the order of frequency, with the case number being last in line. The findings in the eight organizations were in general agreement with the experience of the consultants/teachers as they believed the situation to be at their customers. Employees that used ERMS used conditional or mixed search only when a simple search did not produce results, and that did not happen very often. Table 9 shows the relationship between the implementation and the use in the four organizations studied in detail.The level of use was directly linked to how positively the ERMS was implemented. There were mainly three elements that determined the success of the implementation. These were support by top management, exemplified by three factors: (1) their interest in the project, (2) their own use of the system and (3) their motivation of employees. The second element was the participation of the records managers and the users in adapting the ERMS according to the needs of the organization. The third element was the provision for (1) adequate and proper training in general RM and (2) in operating ERMS using five different training methods. These three elements made up a total of 11 implementation factors. It was confirmed in the study that the support by top management was crucial for a successful implementation as can be seen in the case of the Financial Institute with 11 positive implementation factors identified out of 11 possible. However, if top management did not take an interest in the project, it might never have been realized. In two of the organizations studied in detail the implementation received hardly any support by top management. The managers themselves rarely used ERMS or not at all. Nevertheless, the proportion of expected users actually using ERMS reached 15% in the Manufacturing Firm and 25% in the City Organization. The explanation is that general employees were expected to use the systems, and some of them did so, although their superiors did not provide an example to follow. Eight out of 11 users captured letters created in the Government Institution, or 73%. In the Financial Institute this proportion jumps to 100%. E-mail created was not captured into ERMS to the same extent as letters. The division of labour distorted this picture for the most part regarding received letters and e-mail as the records managers took care of capturing letters into ERMS in three of the organizations, and in the Government Institution that applied to e-mail as well. The proportion of users capturing these records could therefore be very low, but the proportion of these records being entered into ERMS very high as the records managers were taking care of the job 100%. As can be seen from this there can be a great difference in how widespread the use of ERMS is and how large a proportion of the records is captured into the system. Capturing records is supposed to be a distributed effort. The benefits of the system are only partly utilized if just a limited number of employees are active users, even though all of the records find their way into the system. It appears common for IT projects not to have a very high success rate. According to studies by Oxford University and the British Computer Society ‘only about 16% of such projects (are) being judged by clients as successful’ (Craig, 2005, p. 6). There seems, therefore, to be substantial room for constructive improvements in the implementation process that should increase the success rate for IT projects of which ERMS are a part. ERMS should be implemented to become the common working forum for all employees working with records. All records should find their way into the system and all employees should be able to trust that all records are there to be found if they know how to search for them and should have access to them. The ERMS is not just a system for the records manager. If properly implemented and extensively used, the ERMS can be a powerful tool for the exchange of information, constructive group work and effective KM for the organization. It can be the practical route to organizing and managing knowledge that many organizations are looking for. This is what an increasing number of organizations should realize. The solution is here today ready to be used.