Routine Dynamics in Action: Replication and Transformation: Volume 61

Cover of Routine Dynamics in Action: Replication and Transformation

Table of contents

(12 chapters)


Pages i-xiii
Click here to view access options

In this chapter, the authors enter the world of ballet to be inspired by artistic teams. This original point of view proposes a complementary understanding of the dynamics of routines replication where preserving the authenticity of the project’s intent is emphasized over economic efficiency considerations.

The authors propose that analyzing the remounting of a ballet as an in-depth extreme case study provides an opportunity to learn more about other aspects that can be relevant in transfer stories: the importance accorded to the intent of the routine to be transferred; the existence of a dialogical dynamic that engages artifacts and memories of this intent; the existence of a meta-routine that structures and enables the transfer of sub-routines across geographical distance in another context. The authors will see that, in this case, routines replication is also made possible through sharing of a routine’s ostensive aspect which is embedded in a professional culture.

The overarching priority in remounting a show is strict respect for the choreographer’s original intent. As replicator and imitator teams encounter the consequences of a new location and its characteristics, the authors will examine how they face the replication dilemma, coordinate themselves, and use innovation to achieve replication.


We currently know little about how transferring can be accomplished when source- and target environments only have little in common. This chapter utilizes the case of EuroCo and AsiaCo to account for how a transfer of interrelated routines across multiple boundaries unfolds. A pragmatic and flexible approach to transferring, where coordinating actors attended to replication and adaptation as means rather than ends, is illuminated. Notably, coordinators split their work into smaller chunks by focusing on artifacts, people, and actions. As pressures to progress the transfer increased, they conceived of new ideas for performances and put the ideas to use along three trajectories focused on embedding, embodying, and enacting routines. Eventually, they blended performances from each trajectory back together into a new overarching notion of what was to be transferred. In elaborating on and discussing these findings, the chapter contributes to literature on routine transfer. Boundary conditions and avenues for future research are discussed.


Organizational routines emerge in firms during the process of new venture creation. Typically, they are imprinted and sometimes replicated by the entrepreneurs creating the organization, reflecting individual and contextual characteristics. In particular cases, organizations are designed for replicating routines for new ventures. The authors investigate one such case from the IT industry using a dynamic routine perspective and focus on how routines originally created by an organization are replicated in several new ventures. In more detail, the authors focus on how routine replication counter-intuitively allows for innovating in new venture creation. The authors find that routine replication supports entrepreneurial innovation in three ways: (1) the replicator organization’s accelerating routines unburden the replicator organization’s innovating routines; (2) the replicator organization’s accelerating routines unburden the new venture’s innovating routines; and (3) the new venture’s accelerating routines unburden the new venture’s innovating routines. The authors contribute to the discussion about the replication dilemma by conceptualizing “unburdening” as a mechanism that allows both routinization and innovation benefits to be reaped.


In this chapter, the authors examine interdependence within and between routines by focusing on an aspect of routines that has often been taken for granted: boundaries. Logically, boundaries are needed to individuate and separate the entities that are being related or compared. Using observations of passenger service on a trans-Atlantic flight, the authors demonstrate that boundaries of routines are fluid and multiple. By understanding boundaries, the authors are able to better understand interdependence between actions within one routine and between multiple routines. The authors discuss how understanding boundaries complements existing theoretical perspectives on routine dynamics.


In this chapter, the authors examine the use of deceit to drive routine emergence. The authors do so by tracing the relationship among deceit, roles, and routine dynamics in the context of Romeo pimps and the women they lure into sex trafficking. Previous research has focused on routine participants openly negotiating their roles and expected interactions during the (re) creation of routines. In contrast, this study shows how Romeo pimps use deceit to control the co-constitution of roles and increasingly coercive actions of the “Romeo pimp routine” – a process of premeditated routine emergence designed to entrap the women. The authors contribute to the literature on routine dynamics by emphasizing the unexplored influence of deceit on the interplay between roles and routines. Bringing deception to center stage in routine dynamics highlights the importance of linking actors and actions to motivations that exist behind the veil of transparently observable behavior.


In this chapter, the authors describe and explain how executive management enacts strategizing routines to strengthen their entrepreneurial agility, as a precondition to make new strategic moves possible. The authors contribute to the routine dynamics research program, by showing how the dynamics of routines, in a strategy context, shape strategic outcomes: the authors describe four strategizing routines – distancing, evaluating, experimenting, and re-assembling – as a particular promising focus for routine and strategy research. The authors discuss executive management’s enactment of such routines as part of their strategy work. The authors show how routine enactment makes entrepreneurial agility and new strategic moves possible. By exploring the dynamics of strategizing routines and their impact on strategic outcomes, the authors at the same time benefit from and contribute to the strategy-as-practice research program. Empirically, the authors study how the executive management of Hoechst AG successfully made unthinkable new strategic moves possible, discussable, and realizable in the context of the corporation’s strategic transformation between 1994 and 1996.


Large corporate policy changes usually take the form of a top-down approach based on a clearly envisioned routine and an implementation plan. Yet, the authors report on a study of a bottom-up approach in which key members of a service company created a new hiring routine that supported a company-wide new human resource management (HRM) hiring policy without any prior envisioned plan. We pay particularly close attention to the perspectives of this company’s HRM professionals, line managers, and middle-level managers. The authors used the literature on routine dynamics to examine in detail which actions were taken by key members in this organization to create the new hiring routine. Through in-depth interviews, the authors found that line managers, HRM professionals, and middle-level managers significantly differed in their points of view regarding their role in the new hiring routine, and how it should work best. As a result of these different points of view, the actors took different actions that nonetheless contributed to building the new routine including creating new internal and external connections, supplying expertise, and ensuring oversight of the new way of hiring. The authors also observed that the creation of this new routine also implied conflicts as a result of different points of view and actions. Nonetheless, the end result was the establishment of a new company-wide accepted hiring routine that even surpassed the expectations of top management. With this study, the authors contribute to the literature on routine dynamics by demonstrating the generative potential of multiple points of view and conflicts in creating new routines involved in large corporate policy change by showing how misalignments between the actors’ perspectives do not need to hamper the creation of new action patterns but rather support it.


Members of an organization facing change often struggle to adapt and may create new routines. Drawing on insights from a case study of bariatric robotic surgery, the authors illustrate how a new ecology of space transforms the ostensive and performative aspect of a routine during the introduction of a new technological artifact. The authors discuss two types of space: experimental and reflective. The authors show that the reflective space through debriefings enables practitioners to discuss the new patterns of interdependent actions. Practitioners explore the different aspects of the performative struggle with new artifacts and try to integrate new actions and delineate the boundaries of this change during experimental performances. The findings of this study throw light on the role of the reflective space in addition to the experimental space in routine change, and suggest that socio-material ensembles can produce opportunities for reshaping routines.


This chapter advances understanding of how professional expertise is enacted and created to accomplish routines in the context of technology-mediated work. Information and communication technologies broaden the participation of professionals with various specialist skills and expertise to accomplish work together, which is particularly salient in health care. Broadening participation, however, creates jurisdictional conflict among professionals. Thus, a key challenge of interprofessional work is the need to mutually adapt established professional routines and overcome jurisdictional conflict to perform interdependent routine tasks. The authors examine how professionals adapt established routines by analyzing the new interactions and interdependent actions required to accomplish technology-mediated geriatric consultation routines. The findings of this study show that professionals create new patterns of actions that are shaped by relational forms of professional expertise, namely selective and blending expertise. The findings and theoretical insights contribute to the literature on routine dynamics by highlighting the importance of relational expertise, and showing how it can transform and destabilize otherwise established professional routines.


Pages 215-222
Click here to view access options
Cover of Routine Dynamics in Action: Replication and Transformation
Publication date
Book series
Research in the Sociology of Organizations
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN