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Volume 2018, Article ID 8496235, 23 pages
Research Article

The Intertwining Impact of Intraorganizational and Routine Networks on Routine Replication Dynamics: An Agent-Based Model

1School of Management Science and Engineering, Shandong Technology and Business University, Yantai 264005, China
2Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, Brescia 25122, Italy
3School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Dehua Gao; moc.liamg@oagauhd

Received 8 April 2018; Revised 2 October 2018; Accepted 15 October 2018; Published 11 November 2018

Academic Editor: Yan-Ling Wei

Copyright © 2018 Dehua Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Organizational routines are means through which organizations can reutilize best practices and so their replication, i.e., duplicating beneficial routines across context, is a key value-creating strategy. However, it is difficult to map network effects on routine replication. Here, we investigated routine replicating dynamics considering two types of network contexts, namely, (1) connections between different (geographically distributed) units in a decentralized organization and (2) the coupling relation between routines, i.e., a bundle of different routines involved in each unit. By considering routine replication as one kind of template-based activities between different units, we examined interrelations between routines with a NK-based fitness landscape model. Our results show that when there is an appropriate level of absorptive capacities (i.e., when organizations are capable of identifying and acquiring externally generated knowledge), there is an optimal combination of these two types of networks, which is beneficial to routine replicating practices and organization adaptation. Furthermore, we also found that intraorganizational variations, including template-duplicating errors and innovative activities, are instrumental to enhance adaptive changes. Our findings suggest measures to control and manage best practice diffusion across organizations.