Paths are made by walking: Towards a path-centric approach to routine dynamics

Brian Pentland, Endowed Professor at Michigan State University, discusses “Paths are made by walking: Towards a path-centric approach to routine dynamics”. 

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This seminar will be held at 2pm UK time / 9am Eastern US time.


In a recent series of papers, Brian Pentland and his colleagues have started to talk about paths as a unit of analysis.  A path is defined as a way of getting something done. In this work, they unwittingly reinvented Franz Kafka's observation that paths are made by walking. Paths indicate where we have been and where we might go. But we can always choose to go elsewhere, thereby making new paths. Since routines are made of paths, their structure is constantly emerging. In this talk, Brian Pentland will discuss how this path-centric approach might contribute to a critical understanding of the role of routines in privilege/oppression.


Brian T. Pentland is the Main Street Capital Partners Endowed Professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at Michigan State University. His research is focused on the analysis of repetitive patterns of action, such as organizational routines. He has used this perspective to study software support, auditing, invoice processing, customer service and electronic medical record keeping. Recently, he has been investigating routine dynamics from the perspective of network dynamics. 


This seminar is hosted by the Centre for Technology Innovation and Engagement  (C-TIE). C-TIE brings together management researchers who share an interest in organisational, strategic and institutional factors that shape innovation processes. Through collaboration between academic researchers from different disciplines and practising innovation executives from profit and non-profit organisations, we develop strategies for addressing academic and practical challenges.