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Applying organizational routines in analyzing the behavior of organizations

  • Becker, Markus C.
  • Zirpoli, Francesco

The concept of organizational routine can foster our understanding of the behavior of organizations and of organizational change [Nelson, R.R., Winter, S.G., 1982. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change. Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, Cambridge; March, J.G., Simon, H.A., 1958. Organizations. Blackwell, Oxford (1993); Cyert, R.M., March, J.G., 1963. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Blackwell, Oxford (1992)], but since empirical studies employing organizational routines as analytical perspective are still relatively rare, how to conduct such an analysis and what are its benefits is not yet fully evident. We wish to shed light on how employing routines contributes to understanding the behavior of organizations and to demonstrate the potential of such analysis. The empirical analysis of the product development process at an engineering centre shows that using organizational routines presents advantages over alternative analytical approaches. The paper also contributes to shed light on how to fruitfully employ an organizational routines perspective in analyzing the behavior of organizations, providing the foundation for further empirical work.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 128-148

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:1:p:128-148
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Reynaud, Benedicte, 1996. "Types of Rules, Interpretation and Collective Dynamics: Reflections on the Introduction of a Salary Rule in a Maintenance Workshop," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 699-721.
  2. Markus Becker & Nathalie Lazaric & Richard Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2005. "Applying Organizational Routines in understanding organizational change," Post-Print hal-00457068, HAL.
  3. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2004. "The complex evolution of a simple traffic convention: the functions and implications of habit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 19-47, May.
  4. Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
  5. Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 2004. "Reclaiming habit for institutional economics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 651-660, October.
  6. Brian T. Pentland, 2003. "Conceptualizing and Measuring Variety in the Execution of Organizational Work Processes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(7), pages 857-870, July.
  7. Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  8. Markus C. Becker, 2004. "Organizational routines: a review of the literature," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 643-678, August.
  9. Geoffrey Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2004. "The firm as an interactor: firms as vehicles for habits and routines," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 281-307, 07.
  10. Martha S. Feldman, 2003. "A performative perspective on stability and change in organizational routines," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 727-752, August.
  11. Knott, Anne Marie & McKelvey, Bill, 1999. "Nirvana efficiency: a comparative test of residual claims and routines," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 365-383, April.
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