Is digitalization the only driver of convergence? Theorizing relations between libraries, archives, and museums

Is digitalization the only driver of convergence? Theorizing relations between libraries,... PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to theorize and discuss potential factors for convergence between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs).Design/methodology/approachThis is a conceptual paper that criticizes existing research on the convergence between the LAMs for a lack of theoretical reflection and a sacralization of technology. Therefore, concepts such as convergent evolution, isomorphism, social fields and autonomy are used to analyze other potential factors for convergence.FindingsThe paper demonstrates that digitalization is not the only potential driver of convergence between the LAMs. Indeed, other changes in institutions’ environments, such as societal changes, shifts in cultural policy and increasingly common practices among cultural institutions can represent important drivers.Research limitations/implicationsGiven that this paper is primarily based on theoretical reflections, future research should empirically investigate the non-digital factors suggested for convergence.Originality/valueThe paper represents an attempt to detect a “blind spot” in existing research on convergences between the LAM institutions and to identify some potential paths for future research to follow. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Is digitalization the only driver of convergence? Theorizing relations between libraries, archives, and museums

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Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to theorize and discuss potential factors for convergence between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs).Design/methodology/approachThis is a conceptual paper that criticizes existing research on the convergence between the LAMs for a lack of theoretical reflection and a sacralization of technology. Therefore, concepts such as convergent evolution, isomorphism, social fields and autonomy are used to analyze other potential factors for convergence.FindingsThe paper demonstrates that digitalization is not the only potential driver of convergence between the LAMs. Indeed, other changes in institutions’ environments, such as societal changes, shifts in cultural policy and increasingly common practices among cultural institutions can represent important drivers.Research limitations/implicationsGiven that this paper is primarily based on theoretical reflections, future research should empirically investigate the non-digital factors suggested for convergence.Originality/valueThe paper represents an attempt to detect a “blind spot” in existing research on convergences between the LAM institutions and to identify some potential paths for future research to follow.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 26, 2019

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