Sub-theme 01: [SWG] Organization and Time: Time as X and X as Time

Blagoy Blagoev
Technical University Dresden, Germany
Melissa A. Mazmanian
University of California, Irvine, USA
Mar Pérezts
emlyon business school & OCE Research Center, France

Call for Papers

Questions related to time and temporality have moved from the periphery to the core of organization studies. Scholars are increasingly drawing on a temporal lens as to examine a wide range of organizational phenomena, including strategy, innovation, routine dynamics, sustainability, identity, as well as work and occupations, to name but a few. This development is indicative of a profound and ongoing shift in how we think about time in organization studies: scholars are increasingly moving away from considering time either in terms of longitudinal studies (time as a background continuum) or as a phenomenon separate from organizing (time as an independent variable). Instead, they are beginning to study organizational phenomena as temporal(ized), i.e., as constituted in and through time.
This ongoing shift has inspired us, in this fourth sub-theme of the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 01, to push the boundaries of how we think about organization and time, how we conceptualize their interconnections, and how we explore them empirically. We aim to do so by opening up the possibilities with “Time as X and X as Time”, where our understanding of ‘X’ is enhanced by viewing it through a temporal theoretical and/or empirical lens, and conversely, where our understanding of time can, in turn, be enriched by what ‘X’ brings to the conversation. For example, one could imagine generative papers taking the perspective of “Power as Time and Time as Power;” “Time as Structure and Structure as Time;” “Time as History and History as Time;” or “Time as Affect and Affect as Time.” That said, we are interested in all papers that take expansive and empirical perspectives on time in and around organizations.
Overall, we expect papers in this sub-theme to showcase the centrality of time across a wide range of organization theories (i.e., how time can become a more central element in organizational studies as a whole) and phenomena (i.e., what is gained by temporalizing our understanding of organization and organizing). In addition to pursuing the established scholarly work on the importance of time in well-trodden areas such as strategic change (e.g., Kunisch et al., 2017), process perspectives (e.g., Hernes, 2014), totalizing work regimes and overwork (Perlow, 1999; Blagoev & Schreyögg, 2019; Beckman & Mazmanian, 2020), we would welcome novel and less common lenses. We particularly value and encourage submissions that tackle unconventional, provocative, and challenging questions or approaches, in order to bring a whiff of fresh air while reflecting on time down ‘roads less travelled by’, to echo Robert Frost’s poem.
Topics and questions that we look forward to discussing during this sub-theme could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Time use as a signal of identity, power, and performance in organizations (Feldman et. al., 2020).

  • Specific facets or manifestations of time, such as speed, acceleration (Rosa, 2015; Rosa & Scheuerman, 2008), instantaneity, slowness, deceleration.

  • The ongoing negotiation of past-present-future connections, not least in and through history (e.g., Suddaby, 2016; Mills et al. 2016; Wadhwani et al. 2018), events (e.g. Badiou, 2011; Hussenot & Missonier, 2016), or memory (e.g., Blagoev et al.,  2018).

  • Tensions between the near and the distant future (e.g., Hernes & Schultz, 2020) and the performative effects of imagined futures in the present (e.g., Augustine et al., 2019).

  • Issues of temporal patterning and temporal structuring (e.g., Orlikowski & Yates, 2002), in particular in complex and dynamic work settings (e.g., Kremser & Blagoev, 2021).

  • The subjective (Shipp & Jansen, 2021) and affective dimensions of time, e.g., as related to boredom, ennui, spleen, alienation (for example, during the lockdown periods amidst the Covid-19 pandemic).

  • Time and crisis management in relation to, e.g., pandemics, refugee crises, climate change and other ‘urgent’ grand challenges (e.g., Reinecke & Ansari, 2015; Slawinski & Bansal, 2015; Kim et al., 2019).

  • Time and digitization, including big data, algorithms, surveillance capitalism, and real-time sociomaterial interactions.

  • Time and materiality, including bodies, embodiment, and the senses as well as space and (de-)spatialization (e.g., Rodrigues Araujo, 2008; Steyaert, 2015; Hernes et al., 2020)

  • Time-based control tools or processes: Just-in-time manufacturing, high-frequency trading, slow vs. fast food, artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, real-time omnipresent surveillance, and generally to explore forms of “numericalization” (e.g. Pérezts, Andersson & Lindebaum, 2021) of time (even beyond clock-time) and time-based reifications.



  • Augustine, G., Soderstrom, S., Milner, D., & Weber, K. (2019): “Constructing a distant future: Imaginaries in geoengineering.” Academy of Management Journal, 62 (6), 1930–1960.
  • Badiou, A. (2011): Being and Event. London: Continuum.
  • Beckman, C., & Mazmanian, M.A. (2020): Dreams of the Overworked. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Blagoev, B., Felten, S., & Kahn, R. (2018): “The career of a catalogue: Organizational memory, materiality and the dual nature of the past at the British Museum (1970–today).” Organization Studies, 39 (12), 1757–1783.
  • Blagoev, B., & Schreyögg, G. (2019): “Why do extreme work hours persist? Temporal uncoupling as a new way of seeing.” Academy of Management Journal, 62 (6), 1818–1847.
  • Feldman, E, Reid, E., & Mazmanian, M. (2020): “Signs of our time: Time-use as dedication, performance, identity, and power in contemporary workplaces.” Academy of Management Annals, 14 (2), 598–626.
  • Hernes, T. (2014): A Process Theory of Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hernes, T., & Schultz, M. (2020): “Translating the distant into the present: How actors address distant past and future events through situated activity.” Organization Theory, 1 (1), 1–20.
  • Hussenot, A., & Missonier, S. (2016): “Encompassing novelty and stability: An events-based approach.” Organization Studies, 37 (4), 523–546.
  • Kim, A., Bansal, P., & Haugh, H. (2019): “No time like the present: How a present time perspective can foster sustainable development.” Academy of Management Journal, 62 (2), 607–634.
  • Kremser, W., & Blagoev, B. (2021): “The dynamics of prioritizing: How actors temporally pattern complex role–routine ecologies.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 66 (2), 339–379.
  • Kunisch, S., Bartunek, J.M., Mueller, J., & Huy, Q.N. (2017): “Time in strategic change research.” Academy of Management Annals, 11 (2), 1005–1064.
  • Mills, A.J., Suddaby, R., Foster, W.M., & Durepos, G. (2016): “Re-visiting the historic turn 10 years later: current debates in management and organizational history – an introduction.” Management & Organizational History, 11 (2), 67–76.
  • Orlikowski, W.J., & Yates, J. (2002): “It’s about time: Temporal structuring in organizations.” Organization Science, 13 (6), 684–700.
  • Pérezts, M., Andersson, L., & Lindebaum, D. (2021): “Numbers and Organization Studies: Book Review Symposium Editorial.” Organization Studies, 42 (8), 1351–1356.
  • Perlow, L. A. (1999): “The time famine: Toward a sociology of work time.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 44 (1), 57–81.
  • Reinecke, J., & Ansari, S. (2015): “When times collide: Temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and developments.” Academy of Management Journal, 58 (2), 618–648.
  • Rodrigues Araujo, E. (2008): “Technology, gender and time: a contribution to the debate.” Gender, Work & Organization, 15 (5), 477–503.
  • Rosa, H. (2015): Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Rosa, H. & Scheuerman, W.E. (eds.) (2008): High-speed Society: Social Acceleration, Power and Modernity. University Park: Penn State University Press.
  • Shipp, A.J., & Jansen, K.J. (2021): “The ‘other’ time: A review of the subjective experience of time in organizations.” Academy of Management Annals, 15 (1), 299–334.
  • Slawinski, N., & Bansal, P. (2015): “Short on time: Intertemporal tensions in business sustainability.” Organization Science, 26 (2), 531–549.
  • Steyaert, C. (2015): “Three Women. A Kiss. A life. On the queer writing of time in organization.” Gender Work & Organizations, 22 (2), 163–178.
  • Suddaby, R. (2016): “Toward a historical consciousness: Following the historic turn in management thought.” M@n@gement, 1(1), 46–60.
  • Wadhwani, R.D., Suddaby, R., Mordhorst, M., & Popp, A. (2018): “History as organizing: Uses of the past in Organization Studies.” Organization Studies, 39 (12), 1663–1683.
Blagoy Blagoev is Professor at the Technical University Dresden, Germany, where he holds the Chair for Business Administration, especially Organization. His research addresses the management of change and innovation in organizations through process and practice-theoretical lenses. A distinguishing feature of his research is the focus on time and temporality in organizations as well as the interplay of organization and society in the context of current technological, ecological, and cultural changes. Blagoy has published in journals such as ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Organization’, and ‘Scandinavian Journal of Management’.
Melissa A. Mazmanian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Informatics at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, USA. Her interests revolve around communication practices in personal and organizational contexts, specifically in relation to social norms and the nature of personal and professional time in the digital age. Melissa has published, among others, in ‘Organization Science’, ‘Academy of Management Journal’, and ‘MIS Quarterly’.
Mar Pérezts is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Organization and member of the OCE Research Center at emlyon business school, France. Her research is transversal and delves into organizational and ethical questions with critical, philosophical and sociological approaches that draw on her multicultural background. Mar’s work has been published in leading journals such as ‘Organization’, ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Journal of Business Ethics’, ‘Management Learning’, and ‘Gender, Work & Organization’.