The Dynamism of Organizational Practices: The Role of Employment Blueprints


  • The authors acknowledge funding from ESRC/EPSRC/AIM (grant number RES-331-25-0024) as well as from Eindhoven University of Technology. The authors are grateful to Celeste Wilderom, two anonymous reviewers as well as associate editor Ewan Ferlie for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

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This paper explores how founders’ blueprints affect the dynamism of organizational practices, and in particular the capability to sustain as well as change practices. First, a theoretical argument is developed on the critical role of founders’ blueprints of the employment model, which are difficult to alter and mark firms’ future paths by affecting the dynamism of organizational practices over an extended period of time. Subsequently, case studies of several organizational practices in three management consulting firms in the USA, the Netherlands and the UK illustrate how founders’ conceptions of the employment relationship (i.e. their employment model) affect the way in which competing demands of continuity and renewal are addressed. Moreover, engineering- or commitment-oriented blueprints appear to facilitate the capability to adapt, while autocratic blueprints do not.