CfP: Organization Science Special Issue on Routine Dynamics

This call for papers might be of interest to the social study of entrepreneurship, insofar as the relationship between routines and the breaking of routines is a core feature of the Schumpeterian definition of entrepreneurship as innovation, and routines can be thought of as the effects of collective, heterogeneous mechanisms.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Routine Dynamics: Exploring Sources of Stability and Change in Organizations, Organization Science


  • Luciana D’Adderio, University of Edinburgh
  • Martha S. Feldman, University of California, Irvine
  • Nathalie Lazaric, University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis
  • Brian T. Pentland, Michigan State University

Submission Deadline: September 1, 2013

Also, the organisational routines literature has been developing an increasing interest in recent years in the role of artefacts in routines and the performativity of routines. See some relevant snippets below:

Actants and artifacts. What is the role of artifacts (material and immaterial), such as standard operating procedures, classifications, computer systems, and so on in the production and reproduction of routines? What is the role of artifacts as intermediaries and mediators (D’Adderio 2008, 2011) in the performance of routines? And how do they interact with the ostensive and the performative aspects? More generally, how are networks of action related to networks of actants (human and non-human, material and non-material)? How do different configurations—or sociomaterial entanglements—of actors and actants influence and shape routines?

Recombinations and mashups. Some argue that routines evolve through variation, selection and retention, but what is the role of recombination (e.g., recombining chunks of routines to create a new routine) and mashups (e.g., combining in ways not defined by predetermined chunks) in routine dynamics? When are recombination and mashups possible? Is there any evidence that they actually occur? What factors facilitate or limit recombination and/or mashups?

Performation. Routines are becoming increasingly distributed across projects and organizations. How do routines spread over time and space? How do the ostensive aspects and/or the formal or informal descriptions of a practice become instantiated at different points in time and across different locales? How are different spatial or temporal instantiations/enactments of the routine coordinated? What is the role of artifacts in this coordination?

Generativity and novelty. Some routinized processes (e.g., project management routines) are capable of producing significantly different substantive results each time they are performed. For example, an architectural firm may use a recognizable, repetitive process for designing buildings, yet each design is different. Other routines are focused on producing exactly the same result every time. What governs this difference? Are there limits to the generative power of routines? Can routines generate other routines in this manner? What is the role of formal descriptions of routines (such as standards or “best” practices) and templates (actual examples) in guiding and shaping actions in routines? At what point, and in which circumstances, does innovation/adaptation erase the value of the template or model? And what implications should we expect for innovation and adaptation when formal routines and models become embedded into artifacts?