Over the last decade, mobile information technology has developed rapidly and enabled a wide range of mobile work outside standard office environments. The increasing number of records created in a mobile context raises new challenges for organisational and personal records management.
This research concentrates on mobile work and records management. The objective of the thesis is to explore the challenges of organisational records management in the framework of changing information technology. The main research question is this: what are the features and challenges of mobile work with respect to records management, and how have these challenges been taken into account in organisational records management?
This study is a documented, explorative, and qualitative case study. The data collection, conducted in three Finnish organisations, included interviews of 25 people and a selection of organisational documents.
Mobile workers were motivated to manage records if it facilitated their work and that of associates. The core functions of the organisation and tightly controlled and scheduled work processes affected the users’ motivation to manage records. The findings also suggest that mobile workers’ personal information management was complicated and corporate records management was not perceived as giving effective support. Mobile workers in the case organisations were not aware of the role of records management professionals.
Overall, the study provides new information about mobile workers’ records management practices and how organisational policies support mobile work. There is no indication that mobile information technology is taken into consideration in records management practices and policies. The findings suggest that records management professionals should consider mobile and other unconventional ways of working in greater depth, especially in light of the changing requirements for information management. The findings revealed valuable knowledge of the needs related to development of records management practices, methods, and tools.