Handbook of Organizational Routines
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Handbook of Organizational Routines

Edited by Markus C. Becker

This cutting-edge, multidisciplinary Handbook comprises specially commissioned contributions surveying state-of-the-art research on the concept of organizational routines. An authoritative overview of the concept of organizational routines and its contributions to our understanding of organizations is presented. To identify those contributions, the role of organizational routines in such processes as organizational learning, performance feedback, and organizational memory is discussed. To identify how the concept can contribute to different disciplinary fields, the expert authors review applications across a range of fields including political science, sociology, and accounting.
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Chapter 6: Problem Solving and Governance in the Capability-based View of the Firm: The Roles and Theoretical Representations of Organizational Routines

Giovanni Dosi, Marco Faillo and Luigi Marengo


6 Problem solving and governance in the capability-based view of the firm: the roles and theoretical representations of organizational routines Giovanni Dosi, Marco Faillo and Luigi Marengo This chapter will first discuss the relationship between the notion of organizational routines and the capability-based view of the firm. Next, we address their double function both as problem-solving arrangements and as governance devices. Third, we review some recent efforts to formalize the processes of search and organizational adaptation, leading to routines themselves.1 1 The capability-based view of the firm Business organizations are behavioural entities2 which embody specific and rather inertial compromises between different functions like (i) resource allocation; (ii) information processing; (iii) efforts elicitation; (iv) coordination (largely through non-price devices) among multiple cognitive and ‘physical’ tasks; (v) governance of competing claims upon the total generated surplus; (vi) experimentation and learning.3 In turn, these different organizational ‘functions’ yield also multiple coexisting levels of interaction amongst organizational members. Clearly, a thorough understanding of what organizations are and how they operate ought to take on board the analysis of all these mechanisms of interaction. The current literature still falls well short of such an objective. However, over the last four decades one has witnessed multiple endeavours enriching our understanding of the nature of economic organizations. As is discussed at greater length in Dosi et al. (2003),4 quite diverse interpretative efforts range between two extreme archetypes. On the one hand, the dominant strand of contemporary analysis interprets the nature...

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