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

AoM: ‘Not another survey’: Unconventional methodology in organization and management research

Saturday 11 August 2018, 10.15 to 12.45,

Sheraton Grand Chicago, Chicago Ballroom X: sponsoring Divisions: RM, OMT

Are you interested in using novel methodologies in your research?  Or do you think that journal editors will reject your papers if you ‘break the rules’?

This PDW has three aims:

  1. to assess the case for using unconventional methodologies
  2. to explore a range of non-traditional approaches
  3. to advise researchers planning to use unconventional methods.

Most researchers stick to two or three traditional methods for data collection, like surveys and interviews.  Is novelty dangerous?  Using the same old methods runs the risk of generating the same old findings.  The formulaic, template-based nature of our publications is attracting criticism.  There have been calls for more diverse, ‘polymorphic’ approaches.  Also, our participants see our methods as boring, and we have accounts of ‘survey fatigue’.

Who should attend?  This Workshop is designed for both new and experienced researchers who want to explore fresh possibilities in methodology, as well as researchers who are actively engaged in developing non-traditional approaches to their work.  We will explore unconventional research settings, data sources, designs, and data collection methods:

radio programme archives: Laurie Cohen (Nottingham U) and Joanne Duberley (Birmingham U)

innovation in unobtrusive methods: Andrew Knight (Washington U in St Louis)

using fiction, and research in extreme contexts: David Buchanan (Cranfield U)

netnography: Manuela Nocker (Essex U)

experiments in institutional theory: Alex Bitektine (HEC Montreal)

inter-organizational ethnography: Olivier Berthod (Jacobs U Bremen)

participant-led video diaries: David Buchanan (Cranfield U)

We have designed a participative ‘presentation – buzz group – plenary’ format, ending with a Q&A panel session.  There are three take-aways:

  1. you will learn about the uses, strengths and limitations of innovative methodologies, and how these can be adapted for use in your own research
  2. you will learn how journal editors judge research using unconventional methodology
  3. based on editorial advice, you will find out how best to present work relying on unconventional methods

There is no preregistration required for this Workshop.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in August!

For further information about this workshop, contact the organizers:

David Buchanan

Olivier Berthod 

Andrew Knight  

Van Thielen, Decramer, Vanderstraeten & Audenaert – When does performance management foster team effectiveness? A mixed‐method field study on the influence of environmental extremity

Organizations operating in extreme environments rely on teams to tackle the highly demanding and complex situations. This study aims to provide new insights into the management of such teams by exploring the influence of environmental extremity on the relationship between performance management and team effectiveness. Mixed‐method and multilevel analyses of police teams working in different levels of environmental extremity suggest that environmental extremity moderates the rela- tionship between performance management features and team effectiveness. Both the vertical alignment of performance management and constructive feedback have a positive effect on team effectiveness. However, these positive effects are constrained in teams working in heightened levels of environmental extremity. The effects of performance management consistency and two‐way communication on team effectiveness are more nuanced and dependent on environmental extremity. When teams operate in heightened levels of environmental extremity, both features are positively related to team effectiveness. When teams operate in lower levels of environmental extremity, performance management consistency is not significantly related to team effectiveness and two‐way communication is negatively related to team effectiveness. These results provide a nuanced understanding of how perfor- mance management engenders team effectiveness in extreme environments.


EGOS sub-plenary on “Institutions in troubled times and places”

Please observe that there is a sub-plenary dedicated to “Institutions in troubled times and places” organized at @EGOS in Tallinn that is very relevant to our research interests! Please find the description below, the full flier at the bottom.

WHEN: Thursday, July 5th; 14:00-15:30

Chair panelists are Renate E. Meyer (WU Vienna, Austria), Mark de Rond (University of Cambridge, UK), Charlotte Karam (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) & Marc Ventresca (University of Oxford, UK)


In troubled times and places, such as war, refugee crisis, terrorist or cyber-attacks, or other conflicts, our standard forms of organizing and institutionalized patterns of coordination are challenged, our cultural tool kit seems outdated and limited in offering swift response, and our learned roles and identities fail to provide appropriate scripts. In this sub-plenary we question the meaning and role of institutions in such troubled times and places, and discuss whether our organization theories, and institutional theory in particular, ‘work’ in these unstable contexts, allowing to comprehend and address their needs. We ask what an institutional lens can contribute to studying such contexts and also to engaging with the concerns of those involved in them on a practical level. The sub-plenary panel will discuss challenges of conducting research, such as difficulties of data collection and ethical dilemmas, implications for theorizing, e.g. its boundary conditions and possibilities for practical relevance, and potential for mitigating practical concerns of people immersed in such contexts.

To start and frame the debate, Mark de Rond will talk about practical and ethical issues of doing fieldwork in difficult contexts and the ‘usefulness’ of an institutional perspective. Charlotte Karam will talk about the challenges of doing research on emergent crises in the context of protracted instability, emphasizing the need to better theorize the salience of informality, and, from a more practical perspective, the need to more closely consider the ethical considerations of “research waste”. Marc Ventresca will consider complex institutional contexts as settings for research activity and how these contexts both change research practice and conduce to the focus on inhabited institutions.


Link to EGOS page

SWG for EGOS submitted

Thank you everyone that have supported the initiate to make #extremecontexts to a Standing Working Group at EGOS. We are overwhelmed by the support, 99 researchers from all the world took the time to help out! Really appreciate your help! Now we can only but trust the process, keep your fingers crossed!


International Conference: 


Barcelona, 10-12 December 2018

The conference is an international event which aim is discussing in a multidisciplinary way the need for a more integrated and inclusive approach to design and manage urban resilience, addressing climatic, environmental, socio-economic challenges while minimizing trade-offs among them, and maximizing synergies between resilience and sustainability. It has been organized by the Urban Resilience research Network URNet, the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya UIC and UN HABITAT City Resilience Profiling Program and supported from international partners as ICLEI, the 100RC, METROPOLIS, the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, the IUCN and many others working and promoting city resilience and sustainability.

Deadline for Abstracts and Panels submissions – 30 May 2018

Researchers, practitioners, multilateral agencies, civil society and city-to-city learning networks will collectively shape debates around how to critically understand and integrate different urban resilience implementation perspectives, contributing to more holistic and inclusive urban resilience approaches. This could be done through panel or individual presentations, and the conference accepts long papers (contributions aiming at been published in the peer reviewed international journals supporting the conference) or short papers (blog posts, to be published and disseminated through our partners websites)

Please look through the topics (and feel free to follow them, or introduce broader, more integrated, or different issues not addressed within those topics too) and we are looking forward to receive your contributions and meet you in person in Barcelona

The organizing committee

Prof. Carmen Mendoza

Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri

Dr. Raquel Colacios

REPORT:: Organizational Resilience: A summary of academic evidence, business insights and new thinking

A new global study by BSI (British Standards Institution) and Cranfield School of Management, finds that business leaders are struggling to balance risk with opportunity, threatening the long-term survival of their firms. The report, “Organizational Resilience: A summary of academic evidence, business insights and new thinking”, assesses half a century’s accepted wisdom on best-practice management, identifying an acute need for firms to embrace risk if they are to survive and thrive.

TEACHING RESOURCE: K2 – against all odds

A simulation on mindful leadership, based on the Events on K2 in 2008 developed at Cranfield University by the Leading Complex Change group and TripleEd at Umeå university.

K2, sometimes called Savage Mountain, is located on the Pakistan-China border.  It has the highest fatality rate of any mountain in the world, with approximately one in four climbers not making it back alive. One of the challenges of K2 is its sustained technical difficulty; its face is characterised by more than 45 degree angles with a rocky and icy surface, combined with sudden life-threatening changes in weather conditions. Climbers assemble at the base camp to attempt to summit this majestic mountain each year, typically between June and August.

Clearly most managers do not face challenges of this magnitude in their day-to-day work. However, by looking at such extremes we can identify concepts that can be applied valuably in more benign environments.

Johansson et al (2018) – At the external boundary of a disaster response operation: The dynamics of volunteer inclusion

In the present article, practices of inclusion of different types of volunteers in the response to a large-scale forest fire in Sweden are studied. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with three types of voluntary actors. The volunteers were organized to different degrees, from members of organizations and participants in emergent groups to organizationally unaffiliated individuals. Organized volunteers were the most easily included, particularly if they were members of voluntary emergency organizations. It was difficult for volunteers lack- ing relevant organizational affiliation to be included. Disaster response operations are dynamic, conditions change over time, and tensions between different modes, degrees, and levels of inclusion may arise. However, irrespective of changing con- ditions, practices of inclusion of highly organized volunteers work best.

Free access here

Baird – Dancing with danger: ethnographic safety, male bravado and gang research in Colombia

Interesting piece on doing fieldwork in dangerous environments…

This article considers the dilemmas and challenges of conducting fieldwork with youth gang members in Medellín, Colombia. It draws upon the author’s experiences to develop the notion of ‘ethnographic safety’, where researchers learn to perceive and avert danger by gaining a ‘feel for the rules of the game’ (Bourdieu, 1992) in violent communities; it problematizes the role that the researcher’s gender and ‘male bravado’ played in accessing and interviewing gang members; considers the ethical conundrums of building rapport with criminal subjects; and discusses the challenges of working in complex, chronically violent communities where there are no simple dichotomies between victims and perpetrators of violence.