Chapter 8: Organizational Routines and Organizational Learning
Anne S. Miner, Michael P. Ciuchta and Yan Gong This chapter tackles the relationship between organizational routines and organizational learning. Speciﬁcally, we propose that (1) routines serve as organizational memory, (2) organizations adapt and learn through changes in the mix of stable routines that they enact, (3) organizations adapt and learn through the transformation of routines themselves, and (4) organizations deploy routines speciﬁcally aimed at generating learning. In a subsection on each of these ideas, we describe ways that routines inform organizational learning and oﬀer illustrative evidence from empirical research. We ﬂag selected issues that seem especially promising for further research. The topics of routines and organizational learning inspire both vivid and fascinating theorizing in the domain of organizational studies. They also both present tough challenges for doing systematic empirical research. In this chapter, we put special emphasis on ideas with empirical grounding. As a result, we allocate a substantial portion of the chapter to processes that generate systematic change in the nature and mix of routines enacted in organizations and extinguish both internal/external and deliberate/emergent sub-processes. At the same time, we believe that the organizational learning literature has reached an especially promising period for testing more powerful theory that links learning and routines. Overall, then, the sub-sections highlight the importance of emerging work on the interaction of multiple learning processes and sources, the importance of imaginative processes that generate new-to-the-world routines and routines for learning itself. Deﬁnitions We adopt an inclusive deﬁnition of organizational...
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