The evolution of the organisational routines research during the last three decades and the role of power dynamics in change and stability of organisational routines during mergers

  • Mehdi Safavi (Invited speaker)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This talk starts with an overview of the evolution of the field of organisational routines during the last few decades as an emerging area of research in organisation studies. Then, the findings of a qualitative study which has been recently published in the British Journal of Management will be presented. The paper is based on the role of power and agency in the development of organisational routines which is undertheorised in this field. Drawing on an in-depth qualitative case study of a merger between two academic institutions, a college of art and a university, and examining the diverging responses of two organisational routines (admissions and budgeting) during the course of the merger, we would try to demonstrate how power dynamics contribute to ‘resistance’ or ‘compliance’ of routines. Our findings suggest that the differences in routines’ responses to a merger initiative can be explained by applying Bourdieu’s theory of practice and by employing the concepts of field and symbolic capital to unpack power relations in the context of organisational routines, and to disclose why some routine participants can exercise their agency while others cannot.
Period29 Aug 2017
Held atUniversity of Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Organisational Routines
  • Qualitative Research
  • In-depth Case Study
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Power Dynamics
  • Field