Organizational time: a dialectical view

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


I develop 12 propositions, constituting a contribution to a dialectical view of time in organizations that synthesizes apparently opposite perspectives. To articulate them, the 'planning', 'action' and 'improvisation' strategic orientations to the 'dependent', 'independent' and 'interdependent' perspectives of the environment are related. Then these strategic orientations are related to approaches to the problems of scheduling, synchronization and time allocation. 'Action' strategies rely on event time to handle scheduling, use entrainment to synchronize with their environment and view time as linear. 'Planning' strategies use even time to handle scheduling, impose their internal pacing upon the environment and view time as cyclic. Improvisational strategies use 'even-event' time to handle scheduling, synchronize via 'internal-external' pacing and hold a spiral view of time. The argument strengthens the case for a more deliberate approach to time in organizations and favours a dialectical view of organizational phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-296
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004


  • Action
  • Contingency
  • Dialectics
  • Improvisation
  • Planning
  • Synthesis
  • Time


Dive into the research topics of 'Organizational time: a dialectical view'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this