A Comprehensive Framework for Considering Practices and Processes

29 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2011 Last revised: 20 Mar 2011

See all articles by Masamichi Takahashi

Masamichi Takahashi

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

JoAnne Yates

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

George Herman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: December 31, 2010

Abstract

We proposed four categories for a set of activities that integrate both practices and processes: practice, recorded practice, endorsed process, and mandated process. We considered their usefulness for explaining phenomena, including change over time. We then applied them to a case in which a company that had a large incumbent business launched a new business. We observed that when the mandated process has limitations in fulfilling a need, a move to a less formal process or practice occurred, allowing for experimentation. When the mandated process proved effective, people used the activities in their daily work. This case study suggests that formal processes are cost efficient and effective only if the problem that must be solved is relatively stable and predictable. When an environmental change occurs, people start to invent new ad hoc ways to deal with it. These ad hoc activities might become practices if they prove useful. By using this more articulated continuum, researchers can better understand the dimensions of the tension between informality and formality.

Suggested Citation

Takahashi, Masamichi and Yates, JoAnne and Herman, George, A Comprehensive Framework for Considering Practices and Processes (December 31, 2010). MIT Sloan Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1777375 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1777375

Masamichi Takahashi (Contact Author)

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. ( email )

6-1 Minato-mirai, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8668
Japan

JoAnne Yates

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

MIT E52-544
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-7157 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

George Herman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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