Knowledge, Technology and Internationalization
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Urban Gråsjö and Sofia Wixe
Chapter 5: Routines: do they stimulate or hinder learning and innovation in industrial production?
The concept of a routine has been given attention in the economics, business and organizational literature for many years. In this chapter we start with a discussion of how definitions of the concept have developed – the starting point being ‘pattern’, which is linked to rules/guidelines of behavior. The most common interpretation is that routines are understood as activity patterns that regulate behavior. In more recent analysis we have seen routines interpreted in a collective way linked to group behavior. The chapter also discusses different characteristics that can be linked to the concept of routines. Important themes here are stability of routines, how they repeat themselves and to what extent they are context and path dependent. The chapter ends with an empirical example where we discuss how learning and innovations can be seen in relation to creation, maintenance and changes in routines.
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