Organizational Routines

Organizational Routines

Advancing Empirical Research

Edited by Markus C. Becker and Nathalie Lazaric

This book showcases advanced empirical research that applies the concept of organizational routines to understanding organizations and how they change and evolve.

Chapter 9: The Influence of Artefacts and Distributed Agencies on Routines’ Dynamics: From Representation to Performation

Luciana D’Adderio

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, organisation studies, research methods in business and management, economics and finance, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, knowledge management, research methods, research methods in business and management


9. The influence of artefacts and distributed agencies on routines’ dynamics: from representation to performation* Luciana D’Adderio INTRODUCTION 1. As a unit of analysis, routines represent an invaluable resource to capture organizational change (Simon, 1947; Cyert and March, 1963; Nelson and Winter, 1982; Becker et al., 2005; Pentland and Feldman, 2005a). Revealing the internal structure of routines can provide useful insights into many of the basic questions of Organization Science (Pentland and Feldman, 2005a). Yet, the complexity of this endeavour has meant that Routine Theory to date has only just begun to address the routines dynamics that underpin core organizational phenomena such as learning, change and adaptation. In particular, notwithstanding the important recent advances in this debate, we are still short of a full theoretical understanding and empirical characterization of the micro-level dynamics that underpin routines’ evolution. These include the dynamics of interaction between different aspects of routines and the influence of artefacts and agencies on routines evolution. This gap in the theory has been exposed by authors who have advocated the need to unravel routines’ and capabilities’ internal dynamics (Pentland and Rueter, 1994; Cohen et al., 1996; Feldman, 2000; Lazaric and Denis, 2001; Zollo and Winter, 2002; Feldman and Pentland, 2003; D’Adderio, 2001, 2003; Becker et al., 2005; Pentland and Feldman, 2005a). This work has pointed to the need to ‘open up the routines black box’ to analyse the interactions between different sides, or aspects, of routines. Categories introduced to capture the routines’ internal mechanisms...

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