Transforming New Ideas into Practice: An Activity Based Perspective on the Institutionalization of Practices

28 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2013

See all articles by Trish Reay

Trish Reay

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Samia Chreim

University of Lethbridge - Faculty of Management

Karen Golden‐Biddle

Boston University

Elizabeth Goodrick

Florida Atlantic University - Department of Industry Studies

B. E. (Bernie) Williams

University of Lethbridge

Ann Casebeer

University of Alberta - Faculty of Medicine

Amy Pablo

University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business

C. R. Hinings

Independent

Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

We develop an activity‐focused process model of how new ideas can be transformed into front line practice by reviving attention to the importance of habitualization as a key component of institutionalization. In contrast to established models that explain how ideas diffuse or spread from one organization to another, we employ a micro‐level perspective to study the subsequent intra‐organizational processes through which these ideas are transformed into new workplace practices. We followed efforts to transform the organizationally accepted idea of ‘interdisciplinary teamwork’ into new everyday practices in four cases over a six year time period. We contribute to the literature by focusing on de‐habitualizing and re‐habitualizing behaviours that connect micro‐level actions with organizational level theorizing. Our model illuminates three phases that we propose are essential to creating and sustaining this connection: micro‐level theorizing, encouraging trying the new practices, and facilitating collective meaning‐making.

Keywords: diffusion, habitualization, institutionalization, practice change

Suggested Citation

Reay, Trish and Chreim, Samia and Golden‐Biddle, Karen and Goodrick, Elizabeth and Williams, B. E. (Bernie) and Casebeer, Ann and Pablo, Amy and Hinings, C. R., Transforming New Ideas into Practice: An Activity Based Perspective on the Institutionalization of Practices (September 2013). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 50, Issue 6, pp. 963-990, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311539 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12039

Trish Reay (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-492-4246 (Phone)
780-492-3325 (Fax)

Samia Chreim

University of Lethbridge - Faculty of Management ( email )

4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta TIK 3M4
Canada

Karen Golden‐Biddle

Boston University

No Address Available

Elizabeth Goodrick

Florida Atlantic University - Department of Industry Studies ( email )

College of Business
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, 33431
United States

B. E. (Bernie) Williams

University of Lethbridge ( email )

4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4
Canada

Ann Casebeer

University of Alberta - Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta
Canada

Amy Pablo

University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

C. R. Hinings

Independent

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