Organizational routines, situated learning and processes of change in project-based organizations

Project-based organizations rely on established--and often dispersed--routines to realize complex projects, routines that are repeatable, tried-and-true, and temporary. Although routines do enable these organizations to navigate dynamic environments, such routines also often hamper organizational initiatives to acquire the new practices and knowledge needed to improve performance. This article discusses how project-based organizations implement enterprise-wide change. It reviews the literature on the nature and dynamics of organizational routines, situated learning, and change-in-routines initiatives; it examines four case studies on implementing change in project-based construction organizations. It also analyzes the challenges and the impact of using situated learning to help organizations change their routines and explains the difficulties of embedding new knowledge in contexts where existing knowledge is deeply rooted within established practices.
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