Temporal conditioning and the dynamics of inter-institutional projects

Therese Dille, Jonas Söderlund, Stewart Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an in-depth and processual case study of a major infrastructural innovation project involving diverse private and public-sector organizations. The case study shows how organizing developed recursively in response to diverging temporal requirements, induced by the temporal institutional complexity facing the project. We introduce the idea of temporal conditioning to demonstrate how large-scale temporary organizations dynamically cope with conflicting temporal institutional requirements by making use of three strategies: (1) temporal avoidance, (2) temporal splitting, and (3) temporal matching. With its focus on the emergence of the project, this paper adds to our understanding of the dynamics of organizing in temporary and institutionally pluralistic settings – settings that put greater pressures on our ability to deal with conflicting institutional requirements pertaining to time and timing. Accordingly, we offer a new perspective on the dynamics of large-scale projects and how they respond to a particular kind of institutional complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-686
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Project
  • Temporal conditioning
  • Temporary organization
  • Time
  • Time reckoning


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