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The Influence of Routine Interdependence and Skillful Accomplishment on the Coordination of Standardizing and Customizing

By Paul Spee, Paula Jarzabkowski and Michael Smets


This paper advances understanding of the coordination of interdependence between multiple intersecting routines and its influence on the balancing of coexisting ostensive patterns. Building on a professional service routine – the deal appraisal routine – and its intersections with four related routines, we develop a dynamic framework that explains the coordination of standardization and flexibility in four ways. First, intersecting routines have shifting salience in the performance of a focal routine, and this shifting salience is enacted through professional skill and judgment. Second, each intersection amplifies pressure towards one or the other ostensive pattern thus introducing dynamism into the balancing of competing ostensive patterns. Third, professionals skillfully acknowledge these pressures from intersecting routines to orient towards one ostensive pattern and then reorient the performance of the routine towards the opposite ostensive pattern. Fourth, this balancing act, which we theorize as reciprocal task interdependence, occurs within the moment of performing each task, so providing a highly dynamic understanding of the association between routine interdependence and the coordination of coexisting ostensive patterns

Publisher: Said Business School Working Paper 2015-18
Year: 2015
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