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Contemporary challenges for enterprise document management (EDM) include managing a mixture of technologies, recognizing the needs of several user roles and groups, and pursuing effective processes utilizing documents in a digital form. Responding to these challenges means gathering and scrutinizing organizational metadata describing the organization's information resources. Despite the volume of metadata research in general, there continues to be a dearth of studies on metadata in the field of digital documents in the organizational context. We suggest that an analysis of organizational metadata for EDM can be based on scrutinizing genres of organizational communication. The paper reports an action research project, in which this approach has its origin. Many of the genres that were identified in the target organization were implicit and implemented by heterogeneous means, i.e. "soft". In general, an organization should be aware of the continuous evolution of its document genres and should not allow an EDM system to freeze future evolution. An explicit organizational genre repertoire including metadata about the genres, is a solid basis for the design of an EDM system. As such, the action research cycle reported here represents the first attempt towards a practice-oriented method for gathering and scrutinizing genre based metadata for EDM development.