Ambiguity, standards and contextual distance: archaeological heritage administrators and their information work

Abstract
Archaeological heritage administrators hold a key position as managers of archaeological information production. This article reports findings of an interview study conducted in Sweden (N=10) that focuses on providing an in-depth description of archaeology heritage administrators work with a focus on their information work practices and factors that influence how it unfolds. The findings show that its critical success factors focus on the adequacy and availability of resources, personal experience and functioning collaborations with key stakeholders and colleagues, and balancing between following and interpreting formal guidelines, boundaries and standards of the work. Based on a reading of the findings inspired by Luhmann and White, it is suggested that the administrators ability to balance between standards and ambiguity and regulate their personal contextual distance to the projects they were working on helped them switch between acting as subject experts and relying on others to maintain a control over their information work-as-whole.
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
Open Information Science
Volume
5
Number of Pages
190-214
URL
https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2020-0121
DOI
10.1515/opis-2020-0121
Taxonomy terms
File attachment