How to choose what to do? Essays on adoption of organisational routines

Banerjee, A. (2015). How to choose what to do? Essays on adoption of organisational routines. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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Abstract

Organisational routines i.e. firms specific, path dependent, repeated patterns of collective behaviour are at the heart of the capabilities-based perspective of building competitive advantage. It is therefore not surprising to see a large body of scholarly work on the impact of organisational routines on performance of firms. However, in contrast to the number of studies on the impact of organisational routines, there are far fewer studies on the mechanisms by which organisations filter through alternates before adopting routines. The three essays in this dissertation contribute to our understanding of what influences organisational choices in adopting routines i.e. how to choose what to do?

Building on the concepts in evolutionary economics, behavioural theory of the firm, and attention-based theory of strategic decision making, we argue that performance is not just a function of availability of resources and capabilities, but it is also guided by structural constraints that act as attention-focusing mechanism and influence choices in allocating limited resources. We propose that these mechanisms operate across macro- and micro-levels and that the observed behaviour of the macro-system is the aggregated result of the heterogeneous choices made by agents at the micro-level under these attention-focusing mechanisms.

The three essays in the dissertation contribute to our understanding of how three different attention focusing mechanism namely organisational mandates, competitive pressure under constraints, and multipoint competition focus the attention of decision makers on some opportunities more than others. These attention-focusing mechanisms help decision makers to filter though alternatives and make micro-level choices to adopt or not to adopt routines that influence innovation performance at a macro-level.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13154

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