Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Organizational Routines and Adaptability: The Effects of Routines in Building Transactive Memory Systems and Enabling Team Performance

Talk by Jerry Guo, Dept. of Management

2020.09.03 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Thu 12 Nov
Time 09:30 11:00
Location Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Room 1483-344


Organizational routines are ubiquitous stores of knowledge in organizations. Although routines enable consistent performance on tasks over time, routines might hinder adaptability by promoting inertia and rigidity.

I theorize that routines could facilitate adaptation in organizations and foster successful performance on new tasks. Using a mixed-methods design, I develop and test theory arguing that routines can facilitate the development of transactive memory systems (TMS), collective systems for encoding, storing, and sharing knowledge.

In Study 1, I performed 30 semi-structured interviews with United States Marine Corps officers. Based on interview findings, I propose that routines provide a structure within which team members can learn about one another’s skills and facilitate TMS emergence. Consequently, I hypothesize that teams that use routines will perform better on new tasks due to the TMS they have developed.

In Study 2, I developed a laboratory study in the cybersecurity context to test the hypotheses. Two hundred and thirteen participants in 71 teams were randomly assigned to perform a task with a routine or without a routine, and then perform a new task. Results provide evidence to support the hypotheses.”


My current position is Assistant Professor in Management at the Department of Management in the Organizations, Strategy, and Accounting section. I received a PhD in Organizational Behavior & Theory from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and previously earned an MA in Security Studies from the United States Naval Postgraduate School and BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. 



Jerry M. Guo, Assistant Professor in Management
Department of Management, AU