QI and the ecology of routines: a longitudinal case study of a UK healthcare organisation

Arrival: 12pm Seminar: 12.15pm - 1.15pm.

Tea, coffee and sandwiches provided (please register if you want these, and to guarantee a seat!)


Nicola Burgess, Associate Professor of Operations Management, Warwick Business School


We build theory on the process of the death of a routine ecology through a seven-year qualitative study of a UK hospital. Examining why and how a routine ecology suffers a complete breakdown, our findings suggest a model of the complete breakdown of a specific routine ecology, which was hitherto widely considered as a success. This model features centrally the role of senior management, middle management and grassroots support in the process of demise leading to the inevitable breakdown of the examined routine ecology. It also draws attention to the implications of this complete breakdown on the routines that comprise the erstwhile successful routine ecology; ranging from being excised, to suffering ontological drift, or to being localized in pockets of the organization and hitting a 'glass ceiling' as they are deprived of the synergies from interrelating with other routines in a routine ecology. Our study adds to a growing body of research on routine dynamics, extends the nascent research area of routine ecologies and breaks new ground towards theorizing how a routine ecology dies.

About Nicola Burgess

Nicola Burgess is an Associate Professor in Operations Management at Warwick Business School. Nicola's research activity is primarily focused in healthcare, conducting a number of projects and evaluations relating to the implementation of service improvement, patient safety, diffusion of innovation, clinical governance, knowledge mobilisation and organisational learning. She has published in a number of world leading journals including Human Resource Management, British Journal of Management and European Journal of Operational Research


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