Change and Stabilization of Routines: The Roles of Field and Symbolic Capital

Mehdi Safavi, Omid Omidvar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Extant routine literature attends to the role of power mainly through exploring the impact that managers can have on specifying the ostensive aspects of routines. In this paper, we investigate the role of power in the development and extinction of routines in the context of organisational change. Drawing on an in-depth qualitative case study of a merger between two academic institutions (Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh), we argue that routines are affected by the configurations and conditions of the newly formed ‘field’ as the result of the merger. We show that actors’ a) symbolic capital accumulated in their pre-existing fields and b) ability to mobilise that capital within the newly forming field affects the changes in routines. We discuss how and under what conditions actors can move their priori-accumulated capital to the new field and how this (lack of) mobilization translates to the (extinction or) development of routines.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
EventThe British Academy of Management Conference - Belfast Waterfront, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 201411 Sep 2014


ConferenceThe British Academy of Management Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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