Perspectives on time and the chronometric study of what happens in organizations
AbstractAn often made distinction in the study of time in organizations is that between objective,linear, homogeneous, linear, measurable, Newtonian time, also called Chronos, andsubjective, non-linear, heterogeneous, experienced, event time, also designated as Kairos.These conceptions of time are associated with the positivistic and the interpretativeapproaches to organizational research. Are these conceptions of time incompatible? Andare there two mutually exclusive ways of gaining scholarly knowledge about time inorganizations? This paper proposes that the two notions of time can be meaningfullycombined by accepting the possibility of mutual ‘reflection’, that is, the interpretation ofmeasured time, and the measurement of interpreted time. By adding the postulate of‘recursivity’, which entails reflection at successive (higher order) levels, a broad range ofoptions for inquiry into the temporality of organizational phenomena unfolds, that allowsfor the use of chronometric as well as interpretative methods. It is noted that prevailingpositivistic and interpretative approaches have both lead to a dramatic neglect ofmeasured time in organizational research. Therefore, the remainder of this paper focuseson the chronometric study of organizations. It proposes a research agenda which coverstemporal phenomena at multiple analytical levels, including those of the individual, thegroup and the organization as a whole. Since objective as well as subjective definitions ofphenomena are considered, the scope of this chronometric approach and its descriptiveand explanatory potential appear to be substantial.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht : METEOR, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization in its series Research Memoranda with number 030.
Date of creation: 2006
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-GTH-2006-09-16 (Game Theory)
- NEP-KNM-2006-09-16 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
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- Roe, Robert A., 2008. "Time in Applied Psychology The Study of 'What Happens' Rather Than 'What Is'," Open Access publications from Maastricht University urn:nbn:nl:ui:27-18264, Maastricht University.
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