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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Teppo Felin & Nicolai J. Foss, 2004. "Organizational Routines A Sceptical Look," DRUID Working Papers 04-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:04-13

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    Cited by:

    1. Jiatao Li & Rajiv Kozhikode, 2008. "Knowledge management and innovation strategy: The challenge for latecomers in emerging economies," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 429-450, September.
    2. Reuter, Ute, 2011. "Der ressourcenbasierte Ansatz als theoretischer Bezugsrahmen: Grundlagen, Theoriebausteine und Prozessorientierung," Research Papers on Innovation, Services and Technology 3/2011, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Business Administration, Department I - Institute of Research & Development and Innovation Management.
    3. Cohendet Patrick & Llerena Patrick & Simon Laurent, 2014. "The Routinization of Creativity: Lessons from the Case of a Video-game Creative Powerhouse," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(2-3), pages 120-141, April.
    4. Agnès Festré & Nathalie Lazaric, 2007. "Routines and leadership in Schumpeter and von Mises' analysis of economic change," Post-Print halshs-00271338, HAL.
    5. Chatterjee, Sidharta, 2015. "Teleological Dynamics of Organizational Performance: From Process to Practice and Performance," MPRA Paper 68530, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Martine Séville, 2008. "Habitude, cognition et actions des dirigeants," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie,, vol. 11(2), pages 51-78, June.
    7. Arturo Lara Rivero, 2012. "Agente adaptable, aprendizaje y estructura del ambiente: un enfoque alternativo," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 14(26), pages 95-120, January-J.
    8. Teppo Felin & Nicolai Foss, 2006. "Individuals and Organizations Thoughts on a Micro-Foundations Project for Strategic Management and Organizational Analysis," DRUID Working Papers 06-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration

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