There is more than one type of hoarder: collecting, managing and hoarding digital data in the workplace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review




Original languageEnglish
Article numberiwaa015
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are organizational and individual problems associated with the excessive accumulation of digital material, but little is known about why people hoard digital information in the workplace. We interviewed 20 participants from two large knowledge-intensive organizations (one academic, one commercial). These participants scored highly on the Digital Hoarding Questionnaire (DHQ). We asked them to discuss their information management practices, their reasons for keeping large amounts of digital data and the difficulties they faced in relation to deleting data. Using thematic analysis, we identified four underlying dimensions of digital hoarding (anxiety, disengagement, compliance and collection). We discuss these in relation to the consequences of digital hoarding for individuals and organizations—considering the implications for organizational culture, digital ownership and cybersecurity.