The Origin of Organisational Routines: Dispositions of Founding Entrepreneurs

22 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2016

See all articles by Denise Dollimore

Denise Dollimore

University of Hertfordshire - Business School

Date Written: January 5, 2016


Using an evolutionary approach that conceives of habits and routines as social replicators and their transmission and transformation explained through the mechanisms of variation, selection and retention, this longitudinal study explains the origin of organisational routines by investigating the habits and dispositions of founding entrepreneurs. Findings show that historic and acquired habits play a significant role in shaping routines in fledgling organisations. Founders vary markedly in their capacity to change habits of thought and negotiate new routines. Consistent with recent research in psychology on cognitive interventions, the more successful entrepreneurs were those most aware of and prepared to change their mind-set. Implications for policy makers suggest timely well-targeted entrepreneurship training on cognitive maps and the mind of the strategist. These findings shed new light on the origins question and contribute to the development of an evolutionary framework for management and organisation studies.

Keywords: Evolutionary, habits, routines, replication, knowledge transfer, entrepreneur, mind-set

JEL Classification: A11, A12, B15, B25, B41, B49

Suggested Citation

Dollimore, Denise, The Origin of Organisational Routines: Dispositions of Founding Entrepreneurs (January 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Denise Dollimore (Contact Author)

University of Hertfordshire - Business School ( email )

College Lane
Hatfield, Hertfordshire Al10 9AB
United Kingdom

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