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The routinization process, i.e., how service practices in urban bureaucracies become part of "standard practice," is described by examining the life histories of six types of innovation: computer-assisted instruction, police computer systems, mobile intensive care units, closed circuit TV systems, breath testing for driver safety, and Jet-Axe (an explosive fire-fighting device). The life histories are analyzed in terms of the achievement of ten organizational events, conceptualized as "passages" (transitions to another organizational state) or "cycles" (survival over periodic events). The study emphasizes how these events are critical to the life history of an innovative practice. The stages in which routinization occurs and the conditions that lead to it are discussed, and several strategies that were found effective in promoting routinization are presented. The study suggests several steps that, if confirmed by further research, will allow policy officials to assess and influence routinization.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.