Institutional convergence in the LAM sector: a contribution towards a conceptual framework
Introduction. This paper presents and discusses a historical institutional framework for studying institutional change processes in library, archives & museum institutions. A limited application of this framework is applied to the case of modern public libraries in Norway and Sweden, for illustrative purposes. Method. We conducted a literature review on institutional and organizational convergence among library, archives and museums, which is contextualised and discussed in the context of literature on institutional theory. A historical institutional framework developed through these methods is then applied to the case of modern public libraries in Norway and Sweden. Analysis. Qualitative analysis was carried out, using institutional theory and a review of previous literature to develop and apply a novel approach to understanding the convergence of these institutions. Results. The studies conducted on institutional change during convergence processes are few, limited in empirical scope and under-theorized. Drawing upon institutional theory presents new ways to approach this topic, as illustrated in this paper’s limited application to the Swedish and Norwegian contexts. Conclusions. Additional historically oriented research is needed to comprehensively understand the multiple ways the institutional bases of libraries, archives and museums and related institutional change processes unfold.