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Replication of Routines in Organizations: Existing Literature and New Perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number1
Volume15
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)106-122
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Replication of existing routines in new contexts is an important value-creating strategy for organizations. In this paper we synthesize the state of research on replication and organize the literature around two broad themes: forward knowledge flows (i.e. from a replicator to a replicatee) and reverse knowledge flows. We show that theoretical assumptions of existing research leave important questions around the replication of routines unaddressed. More specifically, we identify research gaps in regards to micro-level processes of replication. We understand little about the performance of routines in practice and, related to that, the processes through which routines change during replication. Drawing on recent theorizing on organizational routines, in particular the relationship of the ostensive and performative aspects, helps us to unpack the micro-level processes of forward and reverse knowledge flows. This paper opens two new trajectories for research on replication: (1) a focus on the actions of individual actors in the enactment of organizational routines provides new possibilities for understanding how replication is an inherently political process, (2) conceptualising change as endogenous within the performance of routines offers a route to a more nuanced understanding of forms of change and deviation in the process of replication. The paper closes with a summary of major theoretical arguments, questions for further research, as well as implications for practitioners.