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The Key Role of Visual Coordination in the Formation of Collective Routinized Actions

13 February 2020 at 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Room 205b, Campus on Viale Romania, 32

Speaker: Cinzia Calluso, Luiss

by Cinzia Calluso, Alessandro Marino, Maria Giovanna Devetag & Andrea Prencipe.


To date the mechanism by which human interactions in the workplace are quickly and efficiently converted into collective routinized actions is still substantially obscure. To explain the organizational process underlying routine formation, scholars have often used the analogy with the habit system, working at the individual level. However, the mechanism by which habits are developed – i.e., deliberate learning and action repetition – is not able to explain the rapid diffusion of routines in organizations. We argue that a putative mechanism by which organizational routines are developed is offered by the Mirror Neurons’ System (MNS), a neuro-functional network which is responsible for action anticipation and social coordination mechanisms. Hence, here we sought to investigate the role of MNS in routines formation in a laboratory experiment wherein dyads played a session of the Target-the-Two game (i.e., TTT), in which we manipulated the extent to which participants could take advantage of visual information about the other player’s move. The results showed that when visual coordination is allowed within dyads’ interactions, routinization is extraordinary fast, but less accurate. Conversely, in absence of visual coordination participants were able to perform their task with higher accuracy, but lower speed. Overall, our results suggest that the presence of visual coordination can act as a regulator of the well-known speed-accuracy trade-off in the performance of collective actions. Further, the development of an efficient routinization process appeared to be supported by a neural mechanism (i.e., MNS) that favors coordination across interacting individuals, via an action anticipation mechanism.