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We substantiate how generative routines, from a dialogical exchange perspective, guide repertoires of potential actions. Research on generative and emergent qualities of organisational routines, and their ability to assist actors arriving at new distinctions in practice, remains underdeveloped. Researchers have established that routines have the qualities of being generative, emergent and producers of ideas. Recent contributions argue for a dialogical approach to creating new organisational knowledge. This paper further develops the explanatory power of routines by combining dialogical exchanges within the ostensive-performative theory of routines. We examine the power of dialogical exchanges using words, understood as imaginal others within schemas, and text within artifacts, as a basis for a processual view appropriate for studying ‘knowledge creating’. We analyse data from a multi-level analysis in a university-industry context crossing the theory-practice divide. We find that words and texts within productive dialogical exchanges are influenced and shaped by perceived quality and presence of central artifacts and imaginal others. When they coalesce and are intertwined they coordinate guidance in routines. The combination and recombination of these assemblages coalesce and guide repertoires of potential actions. Through this we gain an improved understanding of generative routines and in turn how knowledge creating occurs.
Horan, C. and Finch, J. Knowledge creating routines: dialogical exchanges to guide repertoires of potential action. Academy of Management Conference, Philadelphia, August 2014.