A Break from the Routine: Studying Strategising Practices at a Small E-Commerce Retailer with Actor-Network Theory

This source preferred by Peter Erdelyi

Authors: Erdélyi, P. and Whitley, E.A.

Start date: 10 July 2008

Through a qualitative case study of the organising/strategising practices of a small British e-commerce retailer, this paper examines the relationship between routine and organisational change. The study takes as its starting point Josef Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction that suggests that a break from the routine is indeed a necessary characteristic of innovation and organisational change, resulting in a new combination of resources. The findings of the study suggest that strategising is itself an activity that is distributed over a heterogeneous network. On the one hand, it is about stabilising matters of concern in order to ensure the smooth running of the ongoing performance of the assemblage (of routines, humans and artefacts) while on the other hand it is also about seeking and recognising opportunities for productivity gains by turning routines into artefacts.

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