Towards an Understanding of Needs, Capabilities and Alignment Mechanisms in Digital Preservation: Results from an Explorative Case Study

Abstract

Today digital information is conceived as a firm’s most important asset whose availability cannot be taken for granted. As part of an effort to sustain its availability which is threatened by expeditiously changing technologies associated with the risk of obsolete software and hardware, digital preservation (DP) provides effective means. However, to date little is known about DP in the firm. Our study is the first to fill this gap and seeks to provide a deeper understanding of a firm’s DP needs, capabilities and alignment mechanisms. We use a multiple-case design to analyze three firms and adopt the information processing theory as our theoretical lens. We find lacking decision making procedures and organizational responsibilities hampering the alignment between DP needs and capabilities facilitating a culture of information hoarding. Based on the consolidated results we suggest a set of propositions to explain DP needs, capabilities and alignment mechanisms

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