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The Discipline of Organizing: Core Concepts Edition, 3rd Edition by Robert J. Glushko

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3.2. Four Distinctions about Resources

The nature of the resource is critical for the creation and maintenance of quality organizing systems. There are four distinctions we make in discussing resources: domain, format, agency, and focus. Figure 3.1, “Resource Domain, Format, Focus and Agency.” depicts these four distinctions, perspectives or points of view on resources; because they are not independent, we cannot portray these distinctions as categories of resources.

Figure 3.1. Resource Domain, Format, Focus and Agency.
A graphical arrangement of textual information. A yellow-colored central octagonal form is labeled “Resources.” At its four star-like points are labeled textual sub-groupings, as follows: “Domain” (Books, Art, Music, Data, etc.), “Format” (Physical or Digital), “Agency” (Active or Passive), and “Focus” (Primary or Description).

Four distinctions we can make when discussing resources concern their domain (their type of matter or content), format (physical or digital), agency (active or passive), and focus (primary or description).

3.2.1. Resource Domain

Every resource has some essence or type that distinguishes it from other resources, which we call the resource domain. Domain is an intuitive notion that we can help define by contrasting it with the alternative of ad hoc or arbitrary groupings of resources that just happen to be in the same place at some moment, rather than being based on natural or intrinsic characteristics.

For physical resources, domains can be coarsely distinguished according to the type of matter of which they are made using properties that can be readily perceived. The top-level classification of all things into the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms by Carl Linnaeus ...

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