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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Bridging the Gap Between Hard and Soft Information Genres

Bridging the Gap Between Hard and Soft Information Genres
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Author(s): Anne Karjalainen (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland)and Airi Salminen (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland)
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 4
Source title: Challenges of Information Technology Management in the 21st Century
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-84-1.ch009
ISBN13: 9781878289841
EISBN13: 9781466665316


The genre theory has been earlier introduced as a means for analyzing organizational communication. The terms hard and soft information genre have been employed to refer to the extent and explicity of the rules that the genres are enacted by in a particular communication community. People have widely learned to use genres without explicit rules for their purpose, structure, and other features. For computer-mediated information management, techniques like SGML/XML have been developed to allow formal specification of logical information structures for computer processing. The deployment of SGML and XML in organizations creates huge structured information resources. In the paper we discuss the relationship of information genres and structured information resources, and demonstrate by a case that the genre theory offers a framework for analyzing information needs of people and for identifying the pieces which might be accessible from structured information resources. In the case study, the need to harden a set of genres was identified and the hardening was performed.

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