How do organizations become stuck in the past?

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Do you want to know why some organizations are stuck in the past? Then you should read the new chapter by Blagoy Blagoev and Waldemar Kremser with the title "Towards a nuanced explanation of historically conditioned continuity: interdependent action patterns as enacted history".

They offer a novel perspective that shows how history is not something that happened in the past, but something that is constantly created and recreated in the present through the interactions among different actors and activities in organizations.

They use examples of routines and roles, which are common patterns of actions in organizations, to show how they can become structurally coupled to each other over time, meaning that they mutually influence and constrain each other’s performance. They argue that these structural couplings among action patterns constitute a form of enacted history that creates continuity in organizations. They also explain how different types of structural couplings can create different types of continuity, such as continuity in organizational capabilities or resource allocation.

They conclude by highlighting the implications of their perspective for research and practice. They suggest that by focusing on enacted history rather than narrated history, scholars and practitioners can better understand and intervene in those action patterns that enact undesirable aspects of history and prevent organizational change.

If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating topic, you can access the whole book, where you will also find contributions from some of the most renonwned scholars in this field, here:, opens an external URL in a new window