Organizational Change and Temporality : Bending the Arrow of Time book cover
1st Edition

Organizational Change and Temporality
Bending the Arrow of Time

ISBN 9781138624061
Published October 25, 2018 by Routledge
268 Pages

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Book Description

Organizational Change and Temporality: Bending the Arrow of Time looks to address the important area of time and temporality, especially as it relates to frameworks and studies for explaining change processes in organizations. It commences with a selective history on the science and philosophy of time before examining the place of time in work and employment, and the presence and absence of theorized time in explanations of organizational change. The intention is to bring to the fore concepts and debates that have largely remained hidden, furthering our knowledge and understanding of time and temporality in changing organizations.

The authors provide a more informed theoretical explanation of the temporal dimensions of organizational change. They examine the concepts and debates behind change theories, philosophical positions and scientific concerns on time and material existence, drawing connections that have previously remained unexplored. This book is key reading for researchers within the organizational change world and will further the academic debate of time and temporality in organizations studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Laying the Foundations: Time and Temporality

1. Introduction

2. Understanding Time and Temporality: History, Science and Philosophy

3. Understanding Time and Temporality: Psychology, Sociology and Organization Studies

4. Institutional Time in the Organization and Control of Work

Part 2: Organizational Change: Time and Temporality

5. Episodic Change and Linear Time Sequences in Managing Planned Interventions

6. Technical, Social and Material: Assemblages of Changing Times

7. Political Time as an Instrument of Dominance and Power

8. Narrative Time and Stories in Making Sense of Change

9. Process Studies in Organizations: Digging in the Field

10. Process Studies on Emergent Time in Organizing and Becoming

11. Processes in the Making: Living Presents and the Multiplicity of Times

12. Conclusion

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Patrick Dawson is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at Wollongong University, Australia.

Christopher Sykes is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management Operations and Marketing at the University of Wollongong, Australia.


"This is a very well-written, erudite and thought-provoking book. It addresses one of the most central and least understood aspects of organisational change – time. We know from our own experience that change is iterative, rarely proceeds in a linear fashion and that our perception of time is not constant. Yet we still persist in planning and managing change by the clock and the calendar. By challenging conventional views of time, this book makes a major contribution to our understanding of change." –Bernard Burnes, University of Stirling, Scotland

"Time and temporality are integral to processes of change, storytelling and sense making yet remain surprisingly absent from mainstream studies. This book usefully examines how time is conceptualized in science, social science and philosophy and then through a broad review of the literatures associated with organizational change provides profound insights on their explicit and implicit use in concept development and theorization. In an excellent chapter on narrative time and stories in making sense of change the authors shed some much needed light on an otherwise neglected topic. Patrick Dawson and Christopher Sykes are to be commended for this insightful and valuable addition to the organization studies canon."Andrew D. Brown, University of Bath, UK

"This book offers a brilliant analysis of the concept of time in relation to the study of organizational change. Lucid and thought-provoking, it provides much needed insight into the philosophy, psychology and sociology of time and temporality. Most of all, it offers a deep social scientific appreciation of issues of temporal process and multiplicity. Essential reading for those seeking a rich understanding of the nature of time in contemporary society."John Hassard, University of Manchester, UK