IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Organizational Routines A Sceptical Look

  • Teppo Felin
  • Nicolai J. Foss

Organizational routines and capabilities have become key constructs not only in evolutionary economics, but more recently also in business administration, specifically strategic management. In this chapter we explicate some of the underlying theoretical problems of these concepts, and discuss the need for micro-foundations. Specifically, we focus on some of the explanatory problems of collective-level theorizing, and what we think are tenuous assumptions about human beings. We argue that individual-level considerations deserve significantly more consideration, and that evolutionary economics and strategic management would be well served by building on methodological individualism.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 04-13.

in new window

Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:04-13
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Egidi, Massimo & Narduzzo, Alessandro, 1997. "The emergence of path-dependent behaviors in cooperative contexts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 677-709, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Luigi Marengo & Giovanni Dosi & Paolo Legrenzi & Corrado Pasquali, 1999. "The structure of problem-solving knowledge and the structure of organisations," LEM Papers Series 1999/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Giovanni Dosi & Luigi Marengo & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2003. "Learning in Evolutionary Environments," LEM Papers Series 2003/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Michael D. Cohen & Roger Burkhart & Giovanni Dosi & Massimo Egidi & Luigi Marengo & Massimo Warglien & Sidney Winter & with comments by Benjamin Coriat, 1995. "Routines and Other Recurring Action Patterns of Organizations: Contemporary Research Issues," Working Papers 95-11-101, Santa Fe Institute.
  6. Dosi, Giovanni, 1995. "Hierarchies, Markets and Power: Some Foundational Issues on the Nature of Contemporary Economic Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.
  7. Foss, Nicolai J, 1998. "The Competence-Based Approach: Veblenian Ideas in the Modern Theory of the Firm," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 479-95, July.
  8. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-96, September.
  9. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  10. Sidney G. Winter, 1964. "Economic "Natural Selection" and the Theory of the Firm," LEM Chapters Series, in: Yale Economic Essays, pages 225-272 Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  11. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  12. Massimo Egidi, 1995. "Routines, Hierarchies of Problems, Procedural Behaviour: Some Evidence fom Experiments," CEEL Working Papers 9503, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  13. 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.
  14. Winter, Sidney G, 1988. "On Coase, Competence, and the Corporation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 163-80, Spring.
  15. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2002. "Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 23-46, Spring.
  16. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  17. Jaeyong Song & Paul Almeida & Geraldine Wu, 2003. "Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 351-365, April.
  18. Todd R. Zenger, 1994. "Explaining Organizational Diseconomies of Scale in R&D: Agency Problems and the Allocation of Engineering Talent, Ideas, and Effort by Firm Size," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(6), pages 708-729, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:04-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keld Laursen)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.