What role do routines play in innovation and creativity? And what role does creativity or innovation play in developing
and enacting routines? The increasingly uncertain and fast-changing environments in which today's organizations operate call
for significant levels of innovation and creativity. While routines have traditionally been seen as antithetical to creativity,
recent theorizing about routines has drawn into question the duality of stability and change by shifting from a fixed characterization
of routines as monolithic objects to a processual focus on routine dynamics.
theory-based reconceptualization has broadened our ways of understanding routines to include action, agency and performativity
as mutually constituted with situation, structure and materiality (Feldman & Pentland, 2003; Feldman & Orlikowski,
2011; Parmigiani & Howard-Grenville, 2011). With more attention to action as constitutive (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002; Farjoun,
2008; Pentland et al., 2012; Weick, 1979), the door to understanding the creativity of action opens and our understandings
of the concepts based on action, including routines, expands (Joas, 1996). The ever-present possibility of novelty, interruption,
and adaptation in performance promotes a view of routines as inherently open-ended and emergent collective phenomena (Dionysiou
& Tsoukas, 2013; Jarzabkowski et al., 2011; Rerup & Feldman, 2011). These qualities form the basis for exploring the
relationship between routines and creativity.
Studies of design firms have already shown that routines play
an important role in producing creativity (Grand, 2012; Hargadon & Sutton, 1997; Hales & Tidd, 2009; Salvato, 2009).
Further, research has shown that some organizations systematically incorporate play into performances of routines to foster
novel behaviors and outcomes (Mainemelis & Ranson, 2006), while others require creativity and innovative solutions to
maintain consistent performance in the face of unanticipated problems or novel inputs (e.g., Orr, 1996; Weick et al., 1999).
To expand knowledge of routines and routine dynamics, this sub-theme directs attention to how organizational routines
both embody and generate innovation and creativity. We invite papers from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches
that address how routines support and generate innovation and creativity and how innovation and creativity affect the emergence
and adaptation of routines.
Questions of interest include but are not restricted to the following:
and adaptation. How do new and creative ways of doing things emerge, and adapt over time? What dynamics support the emergence
of innovation and creativity in routines?
- Creative routines and organizations. When is creativity likely
to be important to the design, performance, understanding, or outcomes of a routine? How are routines likely to differ on
the basis of different requirements for creativity?
- Interdependence. How does interdependence of actions
and actors in routines generate creativity and innovation? How does conflict or other forms of friction encourage new solutions
and perhaps new problems?
- Multiplicity and ecologies of routines. Exploring relationships among connected
routines may be a fruitful avenue to understand how creative routines emerge, and how existing routines affect the ability
- Artifacts. How do different configurations – or sociomaterial entanglements – of actors
and artifacts shape a routine's innovative nature or its ability to determine innovative outcomes?
speaker: Luciana D'Adderio will explore the key roles artifacts play as intermediaries and mediators in the
innovation process and how sociomaterial ensembles of human and material agencies including actors and artifacts might encourage
the emergence and persistence of routines that support the processes of innovation and knowledge creation.
- Dionysiou, D.D., & Tsoukas, H. (2013): "Understanding the (re)creation of routines from
within: A symbolic interactionist perspective." Academy of Management Review, 38 (2), 181–205.
M. (2008): "Strategy making, novelty and analogical reasoning." Strategic Management Journal, 29 (9), 1001–1016.
- Feldman, M.S., & Pentland, B.T. (2003): "Reconceptualizing organizational routines as a source of flexibility and
change." Administrative Science Quarterly, 48 (1), 94–118.
- Feldman, M.S., & Orlikowski, W.J. (2011):
"Theorizing practice and practicing theory." Organization Science, 22 (5), 1240–1253.
- Hales, M., &
Tidd, J. (2009): "The practice of routines and representations in design and development." Industrial and Corporate Change,
18 (4), 551–574.
- Hargadon, A., & Sutton, R.I. (1997): "Technology brokering and innovation in a product
development firm." Administrative Science Quarterly, 42 (4), 716–749.
- Jarzabkowski, P., Lê, J., &
Feldman, M.S. (2011): "Toward a theory of coordinating. Creating coordinating mechanisms in practice." Organization Science,
23 (4), 907–927.
- Joas, H. (1996): The Creativity of Action. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Mainemelis, C., & Ranson, S. (2006): "Ideas are born in fields of play: towards a theory of play and creativity in
organizational settings." Research in Organizational Behavior, 27, 81–131.
- Orr, J.E. (1996): Talking
about Machines. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press/Cornell University Press.
- Parmigiani, A., & Howard-Grenville,
J. (2011): "Routines revisited: Exploring the capabilities and practice perspectives." The Academy of Management Annals,
5 (1), 413–453.
- Pentland, B.T., Feldman, M.S., Becker, M.C., & Liu, P. (2012): "Dynamics of organizational
routines: A generative model." Journal of Management Studies, 49 (8), 1484–1508.
- Rerup, C., & Feldman,
M.S. (2011): "Routines as a source of change in organizational schemata: The role of trial-and-error learning." Academy
of Management Journal, 54 (3), 577–610.
- Salvato, C. (2009): "Capabilities unveiled. The role of ordinary
activities in the evolution of product development processes." Organization Science, 20 (2), 384–409.
H., & Chia, R. (2002): "On organizational becoming: Rethinking organizational change." Organization Science,
13 (5), 567–582.
- Weick, K.E. (1979): The Social Psychology of Organizing (2nd ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
- Weick, K.E., Sutcliffe, K.M., & Obstfeld, D. (1999): "Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness."
Research in Organizational Behavior, 21, 81–123.