Drawing from advances in Organisational Studies and recent debates within Economic Sociology and the Sociology of Financial Markets, this paper proposes a theoretical framework that characterises the mutual adaptation between formal routines and rules, on one hand, and actual performances, on the other, as iterative cycles of framing, overflowing and reframing of knowledge inputs and actions. This framework, combined with the ethnographic observation of the ‘engineering freeze’ process at a leading automotive manufacturer, allows us to advance Routine Theory by (1) capturing the dynamics of convergence and divergence between procedures and performances; and (2) improving our understanding of the influence of artefacts and distributed agencies on routine evolution.
- organisational routines
- standard operating procedures and rules
- communities of practice