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Great honor.
Many people
to thank!
Looking into the Arrow: Learning
from Routines
Martha S. Feldman
University of California, Irvine
Organizational Routines?
• Organizational routines are “repetitive,
recognizable patterns of interdependent
actions, carri...
Routines as Processes
• Routines have been recognized as critical
processes that connect organizational inputs
with organi...
Routine as arrow between inputs
and outcomes
Routine
I
n
p
u
t
s
Outcomes
Routine Dynamics - Going inside the
Arrow
• Feldman and Pentland – 2003
• Routines are practices that have performative
as...
Routines Dynamics: Focusing on the
Arrow
Performative
Aspects
Ostensive
Aspects
Performative
Aspects
Ostensive
Aspects
Material Artifacts
e.g., SOPs
Differentiating SOPs and written rules from routines:...
Performative
Aspects
Ostensive
Aspects
Material
Artifacts
Integrating materiality in routine
dynamics depicted in D’Adderi...
Stability and Change in Routines
• Routine dynamics is about the internal
dynamics of routines that produce both
stability...
Routines are effortful
accomplishments
• Focus is on the work done to recreate and
conform to “the same” pattern
– E.g., p...
Material
Artifacts
Effortful Accomplishment
Routines are emergent
accomplishments
• Focus is on how flexibility in performance has
the potential to change enacted pat...
Material
Artifacts
Emergent Accomplishment
Sources of Pattern Change
• Exogenous: Some changes in routines are caused
by external/exogenous forces – e.g., technology...
Endogeneity – internal forces of
stability and change
• Routine dynamics focuses primarily on endogenous
relationship betw...
Seeing into the arrow
• Introducing two (of many) concepts that
underlie the particular process theorizing
represented in ...
Multiplicity
Multiplicity
• Simply: The world is
made of lots of different
stuff.
• Less colloquially: The
social world is enacted
thro...
Multiplicity in Routines: Performances
• Routines entail multiple
performances – a
sequence of actions
performed multiple
...
Multiplicity in Routines: Patterns
• Routines entail multiple
patterns.
• Patterns (what is
connected to what) vary
by poi...
Relationality
Relationality
• The nature of the
phenomenon – object, idea,
event, action – depends on
the connections it is
embedded in....
We say `The wind is blowing’, as if the wind were separate from
its blowing, as if a wind could exist which did not blow
(...
Relationality of mutual constitution
• The wind is not separate from
the wind blowing.
• Power is not something we
have – ...
Relationality in Routines
• Relationality of routines: There
is no routine separate from
the multiple enactings of it.
– D...
Implications for Studying
Social/Organizational Processes
• Taking multiplicity and relationality seriously:
– Entails met...
Thank You
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2015 OMT Distinguished Scholar presentation by Martha Feldman

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Martha Feldman was recognized at the Distinguished Scholar of 2015 by the OMT Division at the AOM in Vancouver, CA. This was her presentation.

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2015 OMT Distinguished Scholar presentation by Martha Feldman

  1. 1. Great honor. Many people to thank!
  2. 2. Looking into the Arrow: Learning from Routines Martha S. Feldman University of California, Irvine
  3. 3. Organizational Routines? • Organizational routines are “repetitive, recognizable patterns of interdependent actions, carried out by multiple actors” (Feldman and Pentland, 2003: 95) • Routines accomplish organizational work – Administrative routines – e.g., hiring, budgeting – Operational routines – e.g., producing goods and services
  4. 4. Routines as Processes • Routines have been recognized as critical processes that connect organizational inputs with organizational outcomes – Behavioral Theory of the Firm (Cyert and March, 1963): routines as programs – Evolutionary Economics (Nelson and Winter, 1982): routines as organizational genes – Routine Dynamics (Feldman and Pentland, 2003) routines as generative systems
  5. 5. Routine as arrow between inputs and outcomes Routine I n p u t s Outcomes
  6. 6. Routine Dynamics - Going inside the Arrow • Feldman and Pentland – 2003 • Routines are practices that have performative aspects and ostensive aspects – Performative = specific actions taken at specific times and places – Ostensive = enacted patterns – These aspects are mutually constitituted
  7. 7. Routines Dynamics: Focusing on the Arrow Performative Aspects Ostensive Aspects
  8. 8. Performative Aspects Ostensive Aspects Material Artifacts e.g., SOPs Differentiating SOPs and written rules from routines: Pentland and Feldman, 2005
  9. 9. Performative Aspects Ostensive Aspects Material Artifacts Integrating materiality in routine dynamics depicted in D’Adderio 2011
  10. 10. Stability and Change in Routines • Routine dynamics is about the internal dynamics of routines that produce both stability and change. – Effortful accomplishments – doing different things to produce the same pattern – Emergent accomplishments – doing the same thing produces change
  11. 11. Routines are effortful accomplishments • Focus is on the work done to recreate and conform to “the same” pattern – E.g., performances of hiring routines are adapted to the circumstances of the hire – Performances of talks are adapted to the circumstances of the talk • The routine remains recognizably “the same” even though it may have to be performed differently.
  12. 12. Material Artifacts Effortful Accomplishment
  13. 13. Routines are emergent accomplishments • Focus is on how flexibility in performance has the potential to change enacted patterns. – As we perform a routine differently, we discover possibilities that that we may incorporate into the pattern. • The telephone/skype interview • Gender-neutral interviewing • Talks with powerpoint slides • New opportunities to cooperate
  14. 14. Material Artifacts Emergent Accomplishment
  15. 15. Sources of Pattern Change • Exogenous: Some changes in routines are caused by external/exogenous forces – e.g., technology or laws – Exogenous changes tend to be wide-spread and are visible through statistical studies. • Endogenous: Some changes are caused by internal/ endogenous forces – e.g., just by doing the routine – Endogenous changes tend to be local and situated and are more likely to be visible through ethnographic or other qualitative studies.
  16. 16. Endogeneity – internal forces of stability and change • Routine dynamics focuses primarily on endogenous relationship between performance and pattern and how that relationship produces stability and change. • Endogeneity is important to managing a specific organization at a specific time. – Even exogenously mandated change has to be enacted and the relationship between performance and pattern affects how external forces (e.g., technology changes, legal mandates, etc.) are enacted in an organization. – Edogeneity affects how organizations take advantage of internally generated possibilities.
  17. 17. Seeing into the arrow • Introducing two (of many) concepts that underlie the particular process theorizing represented in routine dynamics. –Multiplicity – enables movement –Relationality – enables creating order through movement
  18. 18. Multiplicity
  19. 19. Multiplicity • Simply: The world is made of lots of different stuff. • Less colloquially: The social world is enacted through many different actions. • Multiplicity allows for movement. – Multiple identities, for instance, allow us to move actions from one domain to another.
  20. 20. Multiplicity in Routines: Performances • Routines entail multiple performances – a sequence of actions performed multiple times. • Performances are made of multiple actions and constellations of actions involving multiple people.
  21. 21. Multiplicity in Routines: Patterns • Routines entail multiple patterns. • Patterns (what is connected to what) vary by point of view: – Different participants in a routine – Participant and non- participant (emic and etic) – Different points in time
  22. 22. Relationality
  23. 23. Relationality • The nature of the phenomenon – object, idea, event, action – depends on the connections it is embedded in. • Constrasts to substantialism in which the phenomenon has an intrinsic nature that is affected by context, which is separable. • Enacting is the relationality of action and the pattern being enacted.
  24. 24. We say `The wind is blowing’, as if the wind were separate from its blowing, as if a wind could exist which did not blow (Elias, What is Sociology? 1978: 112).
  25. 25. Relationality of mutual constitution • The wind is not separate from the wind blowing. • Power is not something we have – it has to be enacted usually through other people. • Organization requires acts of organizing. • Identity must be enacted and re-enacted.
  26. 26. Relationality in Routines • Relationality of routines: There is no routine separate from the multiple enactings of it. – Descriptions, traces and espoused routines must be enacted to become routines. • Relationality within routines: Performances and patterns are mutually constituted – Performative and ostensive are aspects of routine - separable only analytically – There are no performative routines or ostensive routines
  27. 27. Implications for Studying Social/Organizational Processes • Taking multiplicity and relationality seriously: – Entails methods of study that do not favor singularity or finality including ethnography, grounded theorizing, formal modeling, simulation. – Implies a focus on opening conversations rather than on finding foundational answers. • Routine dynamics provides an example of both how this work can be done and why it is worth it.
  28. 28. Thank You

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