EGOS track on Organization and Time

Extreme contexts are often operating under time pressure. Such issues could be interesting to explore in the EGOS Standing Working Group on Organization and Time.

Contemporary organizations operate increasingly according to a logic of speed and instantaneity, while at the same time increasing their temporal spans to either draw upon their histories or to cope with distant future challenges (Slawinski & Bansal, 2012; Schultz & Hernes, 2013). Within widely varying “temporal depths” (Bluedorn, 2002), different organizational actors carve out wide combinations of temporal structures (Adam, 1998; Ancona et al., 2001) and trajectories (Lawrence et al., 2001) that shape the organizations as well as their relationships (Reinecke & Ansari, 2016). Recent works in organization studies have begun the search for ways to analytically and empirically handle the temporal complexity that organizational actors face (Hussenot & Missonier, 2016). This Standing Working Group (SWG) 01 aims to extend this work through joint inquiry.

Time has been a preoccupation in organizational research since its inception, where a host of works have focused on the construction of time as linear and chronological. Others have construed time more as the background against which organizational processes take place. Informed by economics, sociology, and partly psychology, such views are prevalent in organization studies.

During the last decade or two, however, works have emerged that offer a supplementary take on time, suggesting more situated, event-based, on-going, multiple, and enacted conceptions of time (Orlikowski & Yates, 2002; Hernes, 2014). These works herald a view of time that opens multiple possibilities for studying the actual workings of time in organizational life. In particular, they invite combining perspectives across levels, going from the situated level of day-to-day actions to the level of society via that of organizations or institutions (Granqvist & Gustafsson, 2016; Rowell et al., 2016).

This SWG aims at encouraging scholars to pursue novel and exciting studies of the role of time, moving beyond the current reification of “clock time” to understand time as a social construct that affects all aspects of organizations and organizing. In particular, SWG 01 aims to explore and advance research on organization and time by:

  • Giving scholars the possibility to review their current work through various temporal lenses

  • Extending current theories on time and organization to enable richer explanations of the present, past, and future dynamics in organizations

  • Using temporal views to critique, expend, recast or replace theories of organizational phenomena, such as innovation, identity, change, communication, etc.

  • Exploring how temporal views may better inform current phenomena in business, industry and society, such as digital transformation, values-based businesses, and other grand challenges

  • Integrating discussions across variety of approaches to studying organizational temporalities, such as organizational history or temporary organizations in order to identify and build more comprehensive theoretical frameworks

  • Deepening our knowledge of methodological and analytical approaches to temporal research

  • Extending knowledge about time and organization(s) through the various networks of the scholars involved, notably through published research and other conferences

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