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Routines and incentives: the role of communities in the firm


  • Patrick Cohendet
  • Patrick Llerena


The purpose of this paper is to contribute to clarifying the concept of routines, by focusing on a specific aspect of this concept: namely the question of localization of routines within the organization. We consider that one of the main weaknesses of the theory in the analytical treatment of routines comes from the fact that the local context does not really matter. Our position is that, on the contrary, the local context in which routines emerge and learning takes place does matter, and leads to routines that strongly differ in terms of power of replication, of degree of inertia, of search potential. We base our analysis of the localization of routines on the concept of community. We consider that, as a result of the permanent interaction between the individual and organizational levels, routines are shaped and determined at an intermediate level, the level of communities. Along these lines, we show that the analysis of the localization of routines in the organization has important consequences for our understanding of the specific dimensions of routines (cognitive, co-ordination and motivational), in particular on the incentives and the structure of the firm. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Cohendet & Patrick Llerena, 2003. "Routines and incentives: the role of communities in the firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 271-297, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:12:y:2003:i:2:p:271-297

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    Cited by:

    1. Bert Sadowski & Mathijs Verheijen & Alberto Nucciarelli, 2010. "Strategic Options for Mobile Broadband Services: The Case of a Municipal WiMAX Network in The Netherlands," Chapters,in: Promoting New Telecom Infrastructures, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Manlio Giudice & Maria Della Peruta & Vincenzo Maggioni, 2013. "Collective Knowledge and Organizational Routines within Academic Communities of Practice: an Empirical Research on Science–Entrepreneurs," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 4(3), pages 260-278, September.
    3. Thierry BURGER-HELMCHEN, 2004. "How do real options come into existence? A step toward an option- based theory of the firm," Finance 0409054, EconWPA.
    4. Sophie Hooge & Laura Le Du, 2014. "Stimulating industrial ecosystems with sociotechnical imaginaries: The case of Renault Innovation Community," Post-Print hal-00975558, HAL.
    5. Thierry Burger-Helmchen, 2007. "Justifying the Origin of Real Options and their Difficult Evaluation in Strategic Management," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 59(4), pages 387-405, October.
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:553-561 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Markus C. Becker, 2012. "Distributed Knowledge and its Coordination," Chapters,in: Handbook of Knowledge and Economics, chapter 20 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Lesya DYMYD & Patrick LLERENA, 2016. "Fractal and dynamic organizational ambidexterity," Working Papers of BETA 2016-03, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. Hussler, Caroline & Ronde, Patrick, 2007. "The impact of cognitive communities on the diffusion of academic knowledge: Evidence from the networks of inventors of a French university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 288-302, March.
    10. Robert, Verónica & Yoguel, Gabriel, 2016. "Complexity paths in neo-Schumpeterian evolutionary economics, structural change and development policies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 3-14.
    11. Paul Muller, 2006. "Reputation, trust and the dynamics of leadership in communities of practice," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 10(4), pages 381-400, November.
    12. D'Adderio, Luciana, 2008. "The performativity of routines: Theorising the influence of artefacts and distributed agencies on routines dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 769-789, June.
    13. Biggiero, Lucio, 2007. "Organizations as congitive systems :what do they process and deliver?," MPRA Paper 3089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:163-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Wohlgemuth, Veit & Wenzel, Matthias, 2016. "Dynamic capabilities and routinization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1944-1948.
    16. Anuja Gupta & David G. Hoopes & Anne Marie Knott, 2015. "Redesigning routines for replication," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 851-871, June.
    17. Philippe Bertheau & Gilles Garel, 2014. "Cognitive bias in the management of innovation
      [Management de l'innovation et erreurs de représentation]
      ," Post-Print hal-01112705, HAL.
    18. Thierry Burger-Helmchen & Patrick Llerena, 2012. "Creativity, Human Resources and Organizational Learning," Chapters,in: Evolution, Organization and Economic Behavior, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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