Applying Mintzberg's Theories on Organizational Configuration to Archival Appraisal

  • Victoria Lemieux


This article applies Henry Mintzberg's theories on organizational configuration to archival appraisal as a means of demonstrating how organizational theory can inform archival theory. The article presents a number of record-keeping and archival appraisal hypotheses based on Mintzberg's theories. It then compares these hypotheses to appraisal case studies by Helen Samuels and JoAnne Yates as a means of verifying the validity of the hypotheses. Finally, a methodology is presented for applying Mintzberg's theories to conduct appraisal. The article concludes that Mintzberg's theories, and the record-keeping and appraisal hypotheses derived from them, provide archivists with a faster and more precise means of identifying sites of archivally significant records than existing appraisal theories and strategies. It further concludes that, given the utility of Mintzberg's theories for archival appraisal, organizational theory offers great potential for informing archival theory.


Cet article applique les théories de Henry Mintzberg sur la configuration organisationnelle à l’évaluation archivistique dans le but de démontrer comment la théorie des organisations peut aider l’archivistique. L’article présente un certain nombre d’hypothèses relatives à la gestion des documents et à l’évaluation archivistique sur la base des théories de Mintzberg. On les compare ensuite aux études de cas développées par Helen Samuels et JoAnne Yates dans le but d’en vérifier la validité. Finalement, on présente une méthodologie pour l’application des théories de Mintzberg à laréalisation d’évaluations archivistiques. L’article conclu que les théories de Mintzberget les hypothèses relatives à la gestion des documents et à l’évaluation archivistique quien découlent, offrent aux archivistes des moyens plus rapides et plus précis pour l’identification des documents de valeur archivistique que ceux offerts par les théories etstratégies actuelles. Enfin, on termine en affirmant que, compte tenu de l’utilité des théories de Mintzberg dans le cas de l’évaluation archivistique, la théorie de l’organisation offre un potentiel élevé dans le cadre du renouvellement de la théorie archivistique.

Author Biography

Victoria Lemieux
Victoria Lemieux is University Archivist, University of the West Indies. Prior to joining the University in 1993, she was Director of Records and Information Services for the City of Edmonton, Government Records Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, and Government Records Analyst at the Records Management Branch of the Government of British Columbia. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Canadian History) and the University of British Columbia’s Master of Archival Studies Programme, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Archive Studies at University College London. She has written a number of articles on archives and records management and regularly undertakes archives and records management-related consultancies for international organizations.
How to Cite
Lemieux, Victoria. 1998. “Applying Mintzberg’s Theories on Organizational Configuration to Archival Appraisal”. Archivaria 46 (February), 32-85.