The role of context in stabilization of ostensive routines: The case study of a merger

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The pervasive role of context in change and stabilization of organizational routines has been underappreciated. Drawing on the advances in organizational routine dynamics as well as practice theory, this paper proposes a theoretical framework that can better characterize the embeddedness of ostensive routines. This framework, combined with an exploratory case study of an exogenous change to an organizational routine (the admissions routine of an art college undergoing a merger with a larger university), enables a better understanding of the structural variations in routine dynamics by depicting the role of context in the creation and maintenance of multiple ostensive aspects. The framework explicates how the existence of multiple ostensive aspects, distributed throughout the organization from the bottom to the top and beyond its vanishing boundaries, constrains change as routine participants enact the routine in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSMS Special Conference: Winter Conference - InterContinental Costa Rica at Multiplaza Mall, San José, Costa Rica
Duration: 14 Dec 201716 Dec 2017


ConferenceSMS Special Conference
CountryCosta Rica
CitySan José


  • mutiple ostensive aspects
  • routine dynamics
  • practice theory
  • context
  • embeddedness

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