The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore the tensions inherent in the development of international standards for records management, focusing on the revision of ISO15489. The paper aims to raise awareness of the need for much more research into the uptake and implementation of records management standards.
The experiences of the ISO committee responsible for drafting ISO15489 provides the context in which to review the literature relating to standards development in information technology.
The development of mutual trust or social capital between ISO committee members responsible for the initial drafting of ISO15489 may have been instrumental in achieving a successful outcome which masked on-going fundamental differences. Environmental factors are quite different for the revision of ISO15489 suggesting that positive social capital may not be generated. The objective of ISO15489 to be an anticipatory or reactive standard needs to be resolved.
Drawing on experiences from a related domain provides a new perspective for those involved in drafting records management standards, and explains to the broader records community why standard setting is so challenging.
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