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Routines Resistance: How Conflicts within Transactive Memory Obstruct Routinization

  • Peter T. Bryant

    ()

    (IE Business School)

  • Nathalie Lazaric

    ()

    (GREDEG CNRS
    University of Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Moustapha Niang

    ()

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
    GREDEG CNRS)

Routines resistance is observed among groups of experts that experienced a significant redefinition of their tasks and organizational goals within in a large French government agency. To expose the origins of such resistance, we investigate the processes by which transactive autobiographical memory supported organizational identification as an organization of technical experts, and how this memory structure led to the failed memorization of new action patterns which contradicted the pre-existing expert identity. We find that transactive autobiographical memory is deeply related to a complex process of identification, via the association of different contexts of identity, narrative and temporality, reflecting the levels and functions of autobiographical memory. More specifically, problems arose when managerial directives for new coordination actions conflicted with the pre-existing embedded sense of expert identity, related goals and relationships, leading to dis-identification among employees. The result was failed memorization and routine resistance, driven by conflicts with pre-existing transactive autobiographical memory. We propose a model of the micro-foundations of routines which explains these effects.

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File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2013-43.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in its series GREDEG Working Papers with number 2013-43.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2013-43
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  1. Linda Argote & Bill McEvily & Ray Reagans, 2003. "Managing Knowledge in Organizations: An Integrative Framework and Review of Emerging Themes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 571-582, April.
  2. Peter Abell & Teppo Felin & Nicolai Foss, 2008. "Building micro-foundations for the routines, capabilities, and performance links," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 489-502.
  3. Martha S. Feldman, 2002. "Organizational Routines as Sources of Connections and Understandings," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 309-331, 05.
  4. Teppo Felin & Nicolai J. Foss & Koen H. Heimeriks & Tammy L. Madsen, 2012. "Microfoundations of Routines and Capabilities: Individuals, Processes, and Structure," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(8), pages 1351-1374, December.
  5. Linda Argote & Yuqing Ren, 2012. "Transactive Memory Systems: A Microfoundation of Dynamic Capabilities," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(8), pages 1375-1382, December.
  6. Markus C. Becker & Nathalie Lazaric & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2005. "Applying organizational routines in understanding organizational change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(5), pages 775-791, October.
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