Frontpage  About
Paper info: Boundaries, Inter-Organisational Routines and Change


Boundaries, Inter-Organisational Routines and Change


Debbie Harrison
Norwegian School of Management
Debbie Harrison and
Lars Huemer
Norwegian School of Management
Lars Huemer

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.


Download paper
(90.9 kb)


The issue of simultaneous change and stability is long standing within the IMP literature.Relationships embedded in networks promote stability by their very nature. Change takesplace in parallel, because some extent of stability is required for change to take place.Existing studies of network change and dynamics focus on the firm, relationship or net as theunit of analysis (e.g. Hertz 1996; Halinen et al 1999; Easton and Lundgren 1992). In thispaper we present a case where significant changes in organizational routines takes place.The routines are discussed according to changing perceptions of boundaries. While manyhave conceptualised the nature and role of organisational routines, there are few empiricalstudies, in particular in inter-organisational settings. The paper investigates a change in theway of working in a construction project from a classic contract situation to a Project Allianceformat. One of the actors involved is the trigger for change, and attempts to alter perceptionsof boundaries in order to create a new way of working. These changes in boundaries aregrounded within specific routines as a way to identify what aspects changed, and whatremained stable. Overall, previously unconnected routines were joined together and a newway of embedding conflict in routines occurred.Key words: Organizational routines, boundaries, change, construction project