Temporal work: the strategic organization of time

Pratima Bansal, Juliane Reinecke, Roy Suddaby, Ann Langley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Time and temporality are central to strategy and strategic management. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to what organizational members do to shape temporal phenomena that are important for strategic outcomes. In this essay, we define temporal work as any individual, collective, or organizational effort to influence, sustain or redirect the temporal assumptions and patterns that shape strategic action, and we introduce the seven articles in this special issue that explore this concept. Building on the rich insights emerging from these articles, we show how temporal work acts on temporal assumptions by shaping perceptions and interpretations, reorients patterns through temporal structures underpinning action, and influences the value associated with time. This is achieved through various combinations of temporal talk, temporal practices and temporal objects. By focusing on the role of human agency in shaping temporal phenomena, the notion of temporal work opens up exciting opportunities for research on issues that are critical for the future of organizations and society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-19
Number of pages14
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • agency
  • materiality
  • memory
  • temporal work
  • time

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