Download PERSONAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AMONG OFFICE SUPPORT STAFF IN A PDF

TitlePERSONAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AMONG OFFICE SUPPORT STAFF IN A
LanguageEnglish
File Size940.5 KB
Total Pages214
Table of Contents
                            Table of contents
Abstract
Résumé
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
	1.1 Purpose of this study
Chapter 2: Literature Review and Conceptual Framework
	2.1  Defining Personal Information Management
	2.2  Related disciplines
		2.2.1  Information behaviour
		2.2.2  Psychology and cognitive science
		2.2.3  Knowledge organization/Classification
		2.2.4  Human-computer interaction
		2.2.5  Ethnography
		2.2.6  Knowledge Management
	2.3  PIM Studies
		2.3.1  Early studies
		2.3.2  The 1980s onward: the natural history of offices and the importance of context
		2.3.3  PIM in the digital environment
	2.4  Context of the present study
	2.5  Information, documents and files: terminological considerations
		2.5.1  Information
		2.5.2  Documents
		2.5.3  Files
	2.6  Conceptual framework
		2.6.1  Context of document organization
		2.6.2  Job content
		2.6.3  Document attributes
		2.6.4  Individual preferences and abilities
		2.6.5  Towards a conceptual model
	3.1  Grounded Theory
	3.2  Data Collection and analysis
		3.2.1  Pilot study
		3.2.2  Ethics considerations
	3.3  Setting and sample
	3.4  Validity and trustworthiness in grounded theory
	4.1  Defining document spaces
	4.2  Windows file structure
		4.2.1  Main folder
			4.2.1.1  Characteristics of the file folder structure
			4.2.1.2  Main organizational criteria
			4.2.1.3  Orphan Files
			4.2.1.4  Dealing with multiple versions
			4.2.1.5  Naming files and folders
			4.2.1.6  Searching and browsing
		4.2.2  Secondary folders
		4.2.3  Windows Desktop
			4.2.3.1  Templates and reference documents
			4.2.3.2  Documents currently being worked on
			4.2.3.3  Documents in transit
			4.2.3.4  Reminding
			4.2.3.5  Messiness
	4.3  E-mail
		4.3.1  Weeding
		4.3.2  Attachments
		4.3.3  Correspondence between Windows folders and e-mail
	4.4  Paper documents
	4.5  Shared environments
		4.5.1  Coordination mechanisms
Chapter 5: Factors and causes of variations
	5.1  Job Content
		5.1.1  Breadth and complexity
		5.1.2  Work Pace
		5.1.3  Cyclical nature of the work
		5.1.4  Domain and context
	5.2  Job status
	5.3  Existing documents
		5.3.1  Help from the predecessor
		5.3.2  Appropriation strategy
	5.4  Relationship with the superior
		5.4.1  Nature of the working relationship
		5.4.2  Time working together
		5.4.3  Personality of the superior
		5.4.4  Change of superior
	5.5  Worker characteristics
		5.5.1  Personality traits
		5.5.2  Preferences and dislikes
		5.5.3  Training and education
		5.5.4  Experience
		5.5.5  Computer literacy
		5.5.6  Cognitive style and abilities
	5.6  Organizational context
	5.7  Document attributes
	5.8  Development of a conceptual model
	5.9  Limitations of the study
Chapter 6: Conclusion
	6.1  Summary of the findings
	6.2  Significance of this study
	6.3  Future research and recommendations for researchers
	6.4  Recommendations for practitioners
Bibliography
Appendix 1: Example of an e-mail invitation to participate in the study
Appendix 2: Interview Guide
Appendix 3: Pre-interview survey
Appendix 4: Participant profiles
	Participant #1: Anne
	Participant #2: Béatrice
	Participant #3: Carole
	Participant #4: Diane
	Participant #5: Édith
	Participant #6: Francine
	Participant #7: Ginette
	Participant #8: Hortense
	Participant #9: Ingrid
	Participant #10: Jeanne
	Participant #11: Kim
	Participant #12: Lise
	Participant #13: Manon
	Participant #14: Nicole
	Participant #15: Olivia
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Table of contents

Abstract ........................................................................................................................... v 

Résumé .......................................................................................................................... vii 

Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ ix 



Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................... 1 

1.1 Purpose of this study ............................................................................................. 2



Chapter 2: Literature Review and Conceptual Framework ............................................ 6 

2.1 Defining Personal Information Management ....................................................... 7 

2.2 Related disciplines ............................................................................................... 8 

2.2.1 Information behaviour .................................................................................. 9 

2.2.2 Psychology and cognitive science .............................................................. 10 

2.2.3 Knowledge organization/Classification ...................................................... 11 

2.2.4 Human-computer interaction ...................................................................... 12 

2.2.5 Ethnography ................................................................................................ 14 

2.2.6 Knowledge Management ............................................................................ 15 

2.3 PIM Studies ........................................................................................................ 16 

2.3.1 Early studies ................................................................................................ 16 

2.3.2 The 1980s onward: the natural history of offices and the importance of

context ................................................................................................................... 17 

2.3.3 PIM in the digital environment ................................................................... 20 

2.4 Context of the present study .............................................................................. 25 

2.5 Information, documents and files: terminological considerations ..................... 27 

2.5.1 Information ................................................................................................. 28 

2.5.2 Documents .................................................................................................. 28 

2.5.3 Files ............................................................................................................. 29 

2.6 Conceptual framework ....................................................................................... 30 

2.6.1 Context of document organization .............................................................. 31 

2.6.2 Job content .................................................................................................. 32 

i

Page 107

person manages his/her files on his/her own workstation, in somewhat of a closed circuit.

Obviously it is always possible to transfer files via e-mail, a CD-ROM or a USB key, but

the idea here is that dedicated, common environments are created, where people can

access each other’s files.



Sharing documents this way can be especially interesting for an office worker and his/her

superior, who tend to work hand in hand on the same documents. This section will thus

focus more specifically on this type of working relationship, which is especially relevant

in our study of support staff, and was quite common among our participants.



In our study, the following scenarios were observed:



Completely separate file structures: Every worker has his/her own individual

computer workstation, with no sharing mechanisms. No link between the

employee’s and the superior’s documents.



Access rights: Access is given, to one or several colleagues, to a folder located on

someone’s workstation. A worker can share a folder from his/her own structure

by right-clicking on the folder’s properties and modifying access rights and

security settings, thus allowing colleagues to access that folder. The superior can

grant his/her employee access to his/her files, and vice versa.



Centralized data located on a departmental server: In this model, every worker’s

main folder resides on the same server. Typically, every employee will have

his/her own individual directory on the server, and may or may not have access to

their colleagues’, depending on the access rights granted. A typical example of

this involves an employee and his/her superior working in the same shared folder,

which resides on the server. They can both still maintain secondary folders on

their respective computers, but their primary work files will reside on the server.

One major advantage of the server solution is that a single backup procedure can

be used to save an entire department’s files, while the two decentralized models

96

Page 108

mentioned above require every worker to perform a backup procedure on his/her

own computer.



As for e-mail, here are the sharing possibilities we observed:



Completely separate e-mail: The employee and the superior each have their own,

distinct e-mail accounts.



Superior’s e-mail managed by employee: Here, both the employee and the

superior may have their own e-mail account, but the employee can access the

superior’s e-mail and perform any required task there. In some cases, the

employee always has access, but will only actively manage the account (replying,

deleting, etc.) when the superior is on holiday or absent for an extended period.



Collective e-mail account: This type of e-mail account is meant to have several

owners. The idea is that instead of having personal accounts, people will share

another, common account, which can be given a more neutral name. For example,

a department’s director and his/her assistant may share an account called

[email protected] E-mails sent to this address can be managed by both people.



For the employee/superior duo, shared environments present significant advantages. The

main improvement might be that it puts a stop to the incessant sending of documents via

e-mail between the two. Documents are left in the shared folder and modified there,

instead of being exchanged every time a new version is produced. E-mail attachments are

thus drastically reduced, and above all, workers report much less confusion among

existing versions. Furthermore, documents are available at all times, even when someone

is away from the office.



However, shared environments do present some drawbacks, especially from the

assistant’s perspective. The main reason is that the shared folder will usually be

organized from the perspective of the superior, who decides what the structure will

97

Page 213

202

55B165BParticipant #14: Nicole

Age: 40-49
Years at the university: 6-10
Position: Secretarial Agent (SA).
Years in this position: 6-10
Use of the institutional scheme: No.

Training in document management: No.
Self-assessment of computer literacy: Intermediate.
Self-assessment of current document organization: Well organized.
Level of difficulty in organizing documents: Easy.

Main tasks:


- Participates in operations pertaining to the management of human resources.
- Participates in operations pertaining to the management of financial resources.
- Participates in operations pertaining to the management of material resources.
- Follows up on the decisions taken by his/her supervisor and makes sure things get

done.
- Manages the unit's accounts, registers expenses, produces reports, etc.
- Updates the personnel files and prepares the appropriate documents for hirings,

nominations, promotions, vacations, absences, etc.
- Accomplishes the student files technician's tasks when needed.
- Sorts incoming mail according to priorities. Prepares responses and takes note of

any necessary follow-up.
- Takes notes and types various documents such as letters, reports, memos, etc.

Prepares page layout and verifies grammar and spelling. Signs certain documents.
- Accomplishes the tasks of a similar or lower-ranked position when needed.
- Manages his/her superior’s files.

Page 214

203

56B166BParticipant #15: Olivia

Age: 20-29
Years at the university: 0-1
Position: Office Work Technician (OWT).
Years in this position: 0-1
Use of the institutional scheme: Yes.

Training in document management: In Cégep.
Self-assessment of computer literacy: Intermediate.
Self-assessment of current document organization: Moderately well organized.
Level of difficulty in organizing documents: Moderately easy.

Main tasks:


- Follows up on the decisions taken by his/her supervisor and makes sure things get
done.

- Manages his/her superior's agenda (fixes appointments according to priorities).
- Receives and filters phone calls, gives out information. Welcomes visitors and

prepares necessary documents.
- Sorts incoming mail according to priorities. Prepares responses and takes note of

any necessary follow-up.
- Organizes meetings by sending out invitations, booking meeting rooms and

preparing the required documents. Takes part in meetings, takes notes, and
ensures any necessary follow-up.

- Manages the local filing system and applies the required archival procedures.
- Takes notes and types various documents such as letters, reports, memos, etc.

Prepares page layout and verifies grammar and spelling. Signs certain documents.
- Participates in the planning of special events such as conferences or travels.

Similer Documents