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Title Evolution and Variation of Digitally-enabled Design Routines: An extended event-sequencing approach
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Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Management Information and Decision Systems
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Case Western Reserve University
Abstract Digitally-enabled generative organizational processes (such as product design and development) change frequently and vary greatly within and between companies, and over time, making them difficult to understand and manage. These kinds of generative processes can be viewed as sets of organizational routines afforded by technology, which in this thesis are commonly labeled as “sociomaterial routines”. To further complicate sense-making of such processes for scholars and practitioners, digital innovations continue to alter the form of sociomaterial routines through the simultaneous consolidation of tasks and expansion of capabilities, and thus provide means to both increase and decrease complexity and variety in organizations. This complex dynamic of sociomaterial routines offers a tantalizing, yet heretofore elusive, opportunity to explore the effects digitalization and process structure have on process variety. The primary research questions addressed in this thesis are: 1) How are sociomaterial routines structurally composed, 2) what variations (over time and space) can we identify across sociomaterial routines, and 3) what can explain these variations? The theorizing and analysis of routine variation and evolution provides new insights and genuine opportunities for research inquiries—such as finding systematic drivers of variation among routines—that have been hitherto out of reach (Pentland et al. 2009). The substance of the thesis draws primarily upon three research articles my colleagues and I have published. The first introduces the suite of tools and techniques we have developed for exploring the structure of sociomaterial routines and analyzing their variation. The second article examines the way in which routines evolve, and the role embedded digital capabilities play in driving that evolution. The third develops and validates a theory of routine variation over across four world class design organizations . The findings from these studies suggest that sociomaterial routines can be represented using seven common elements (e.g., actors, activities, tools, etc.), and that variations in routines can be identified through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Furthermore, the thesis begins to explain causes of evolution and variation in routines, and hence, informs the way in which they can be managed.
Subjects/Keywords Design; Epistemology; Evolution and Development; Information Systems; Information Technology; Management; Philosophy of Science; Social Research; Social Structure; Organizational routines; Sociomateriality; Product design and development; Sequence analysis; Process analytics; Organizational genetics
Contributors Lyytinen, Kalle (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:case1332172409
Repository ohiolink
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor Case Western Reserve University

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