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The case for a risk-assessed approach to organizational records management in the oil and gas sector.

Muir, Laura; Cousins, Fionnuala; Laing, Audrey


Laura Muir

Fionnuala Cousins


Processes and practices for information management service delivery, including retention, retrieval and disposal of documents and records, are not easily quantified for benchmarking and performance improvement. A mainly qualitative approach was applied to evaluate records management services in oil and gas sector organizations. A case study, with data gathered from eleven organizations by questionnaire and interview, explored records management challenges facing the industry. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were carried out on the data. Given the small sample and the mainly qualitative approach, analysis of questionnaire responses was mainly descriptive. Content analysis was applied to the interview transcript data to identify emerging themes and issues. The challenges faced by organizations are human and cultural and are specifically related to unwillingness to accept ownership responsibility and fear of consequences of records disposal. We argue that those responsible for information and records management must make a strong business case for investment in development of their people and services. This would avoid the consequences of failing to comply with 'legal holds' or e-discovery demands, thereby improving retrieval performance, business decision making and, ultimately, business performance. A risk-assessed approach to scheduling records retention and disposal is recommended.


MUIR, L., COUSINS, F. and LAING, A., 2014. The case for a risk-assessed approach to organizational records management in the oil and gas sector. Information research [online], 19(4). Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Publication Date Dec 31, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 30, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 30, 2015
Journal Information research
Electronic ISSN 1368-1613
Publisher University of Borås, Information Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Public URL
Publisher URL


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