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The Discipline of Organizing

by Robert J. Glushko et al

Abstract: We organize things, we organize information, we organize information about things, and we organize information about information. But even though "organizing" is a fundamental and ubiquitous challenge, when we compare these activities their contrasts are more apparent than their commonalities. We propose to unify many perspectives about organizing with the concept of an Organizing System, defined as an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support. Every Organizing System involves a collection of resources, a choice of properties or principles used to describe and arrange resources, and ways of supporting interactions with resources. By comparing and contrasting how these activities take place in different contexts and domains, we can identify patterns of organizing. We can create a discipline of organizing in a disciplined way.

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