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Mindfully performed organisational routines: reconciling the stability and change duality view

Rihana Shaik (Department of Strategy and General Management, Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Ranjeet Nambudiri (Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India)
Manoj Kumar Yadav (Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 26 July 2021

Issue publication date: 17 June 2022




The purpose of this paper is to provide a process model on how mindfully performed organisational routines can simultaneously enable organisational stability and organisational change.


Via conceptual analysis, the authors develop several propositions and a process model integrating the theory of mindfulness and performative aspects of organisational routines with organisational stability and change. To do so, the authors review the literature on organisational routines, mindfulness, stability, inertia and change.


First, the authors demonstrate that, based on levels of mindfulness employed, performative aspects of organisational routines can be categorised as mindless, mindful and collectively mindful (meta-routines). Second, in the process model, the authors position the mindless performance of routines as enabling organisational stability, mediated through inertial pressure and disabling change, mediated through constrained change capacities. Finally, the authors state that engaging routines with mindfulness at an individual (mindful routines) or collective (meta-routines) level reduces inertia and facilitates change. Such simultaneous engagement leads to either sustaining stability when required or implementing continuous organisational change.

Research limitations/implications

The framework uses continuous, versus episodic, change; future research can consider the model’s workability with episodic change. Future research can also seek to empirically validate the model. The authors hope that this model informs research in organisational change and provides guidance on addressing organisational inertia.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to categorise the performative aspects of organisational routine based on the extent of mindfulness employed and propose that mindfulness-based practice of routines stimulates either inertia-induced or inertia-free stability and continuous change.



Shaik, R., Nambudiri, R. and Yadav, M.K. (2022), "Mindfully performed organisational routines: reconciling the stability and change duality view", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 1019-1038.



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