Organizations and Unusual Routines: A Systems Analysis of Dysfunctional Feedback Processes

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 7, 2010 - Business & Economics
Everyone working in and with organizations will, from time to time, experience frustrations and problems when trying to accomplish tasks that are a required part of their role. This is an unusual routine - a recurrent interaction pattern in which someone encounters a problem when trying to accomplish normal activities by following standard organizational procedures and then becomes enmeshed in wasteful and even harmful subroutines while trying to resolve the initial problem. They are unusual because they are not intended or beneficial, and because they are generally pervasive but individually infrequent. They are routines because they become systematic as well as embedded in ordinary functions. Using a wide range of case studies and interdisciplinary research, this book provides researchers and practitioners with a new vocabulary for identifying, understanding, and dealing with this pervasive organizational phenomenon, in order to improve worker and customer satisfaction as well as organizational performance.

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1 Crazy systems Kafka circuits and unusual routines
2 Causes symptoms and subroutines of unusual routines in six computer informationcommunication systems
3 Getting personal
4 A multitheoretical foundation for understanding unusual routines
5 A detailed case study of unusual routines
6 Summary and discussion of the case study results
7 Individual and organizational challenges to feedback
8 A multilevel and crossdisciplinary summary of concepts related to unusual routines
9 Recommendations for resolving and mitigating unusual routines and related phenomena
10 Summary and a tentative integrated model of unusual routines

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About the author (2010)

Ronald E. Rice is Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication and Co-Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which include The Internet and Health Care (with Monica Murero, 2006) and Media Ownership (2008).

Stephen D. Cooper is Professor of Communication Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at Marshall University, where he teaches courses in business and professional communication, computer-mediated communication, group communication, organizational communication, and research foundations. He is the author of Watching the Watchdog: Bloggers as the Fifth Estate (2006).

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