Awareness and perceptions of the role of information management professionals and graduates in the context of organisational implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation

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O'Gorman, Áine
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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As with all things new, there is limited research available in an academic context around the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and more specifically around the role information management graduates can play in assisting organisations to prepare. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap in knowledge by exploring the perceptions of a subset of experts in relation to information management skills and how these skills could assist organisations in preparing for GDPR. The dissertation also examined how those involved in information management such as professional bodies, academic institutions and the information management professionals could help to raise the visibility of these skills in relation to GDPR. Primary data in this dissertation was gathered through a series of semi-structured interviews with subject matter experts in data protection and GDPR. Results from the interviews suggest that while there is awareness among some participants of the skills of information management professionals, it can be dependent on their level of contact with professionals, professional bodies and others. Within the results, there were also factors identified which would limit the engagement of information management graduates. In addition, there was agreement that skills taught to new information management professionals would be applicable within a team tackling GDPR at an organisational level. Finally, responses suggest that there is still a large gap to bridge in order to better promote awareness of information management skills in the wider public perspective. The dissertation contributed to a better understanding of how visible information management skills are within the market in the context of data protection and GDPR. Results suggest that there is a place within organisational GDPR teams in Ireland for information management professionals due to their diversity of skills and flexibility, but that there needs to be better promotion of the skills at an individual and organisational level.