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Chapter 1 - What Is Routine Dynamics?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2021

Martha S. Feldman
University of California, Irvine
Brian T. Pentland
Michigan State University
Luciana D'Adderio
University of Edinburgh
Katharina Dittrich
University of Warwick
Claus Rerup
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
David Seidl
University of Zurich
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This chapter offers an introduction to Routine Dynamics as a particular approach to studying organizational phenomena. We provide a brief description of the genealogy of research on routines; starting with the work of the management scholar Fredrick Taylor (1911) and the pragmatist philosopher John Dewey (1922) at the beginning of the last century, to the works of the Carnegie School on standard operating procedures around the middle of the last century, to the economics-based Capabilities approach and finally the practice-based approach of Routine Dynamics around the turn of the century. We also discuss the advantages of conceptualizing patterns of action as “routines”, as compared to “practices”, “processes”, “activities” or “institutions”. In particular, we highlight that the concept of routines directs the researcher’s attention to certain specificities of particular action patterns, such as task orientation, sequentiality of actions, recurrence and familiarity as well as attempts at reflexive regulation. We also introduce and explain the key concepts of the Routine Dynamics perspective and how they have developed over time.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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