Opening the workaround black box: an organisational routines perspective

Arif Wibisono*, David Sammon, Ciara Heavin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Workarounds are adaptive processes occurring in a centralised system environment. As adaptations, they expose organisations to potential data issues, for example, data availability, data accuracy, and data leak. Hence organisations need to manage workaround, one way to achieve this is to classify them. However, classifying workarounds is challenging because they are unique and situational. This study aims to develop a workaround classification by leveraging the theory of organisational routines. By adopting the theory’s ontology, we emphasise the duality of structure (ostensive) and agency (performative). Next, we construct a truth table to progress our assumptions around workarounds. Our analysis shapes the statement of two organisational routines infused definitions of a workaround. This definition facilitates a new workaround typology based on organisational routines. By opening the black box, we can leverage a novel approach to classifying workarounds. This classification provides researchers with alternate building blocks for further theory development in workarounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-281
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Decision Systems
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • classification
  • organisational routines
  • ostensive aspects
  • performative aspects
  • workarounds


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