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

51 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2015

See all articles by Paul Spee

Paul Spee

University of Queensland - Business School

Paula Jarzabkowski

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Michael Smets

Aston University - Aston Business School; University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: October 1, 2015

Abstract

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.

Keywords: standardization, flexibility, interdependence, skillful accomplishment, professional service routines, reinsurance, practice, ethnography

Suggested Citation

Spee, Paul and Jarzabkowski, Paula and Smets, Michael, The Influence of Routine Interdependence and Skillful Accomplishment on the Coordination of Standardizing and Customizing (October 1, 2015). Saïd Business School WP 2015-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2683287 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2683287

Paul Spee (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - Business School

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Paula Jarzabkowski

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Michael Smets

Aston University - Aston Business School ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B47ET
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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