Functional classification scheme for records: FCS: A way to chart documented knowledge in organizations

Johanna Gunnlaugsdottir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of studies conducted during the period 1986-2010 in 75 Icelandic organizations on how employees classified or did not classify information and records. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative methodology was used, involving open-ended interviews, participant observations and internal documentary material. Findings: The studies revealed that very few of the organizations used a functional classification scheme (FCS) organization-wide to classify records when the data collection took place. When FCS was not used, records were variably stored unclassified or were classified by the employees according to individualistic schemes made up by themselves. It was further discovered that influential factors in a successful implementation of FCS were user participation in designing FCS, proper training and top management support in its use. Practical implications: The findings could be practical for organizations that intend to improve information and records management and to maximize efficient retrieval of records for business and legal purposes. They could be a starting point in successful introduction of FCS in organizations, both in Iceland and abroad. Originality/value: There is a lack of systematic analysis of studies on classification of records and FCS, not only in Iceland but in other countries as well. The findings provide new knowledge on how employees classify or do not classify records and use or do not use FCS and of which are the most influential factors in a successful implementation of such schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalRecords Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Other keywords

  • Classification
  • Classification schemes
  • Functional classification schemes
  • Iceland
  • Implementation
  • Information management
  • Records management


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