Call for Papers: Special Issue of Strategic Organization“Temporal Work: The Strategic Organization of Time”

Guest Editors:

Pratima Bansal, Ivey Business School, Western University (tbansal)
Juliane Reinecke, King’s Business School, King’s College London (juliane.reinecke) Roy Suddaby, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria (rsuddaby) Ann Langley, HEC Montreal (ann.langley)

Time, in its various dimensions and manifestations (speed, rhythm, sequence, horizon) is inherent to strategic management (Mosakowski and Earley, 2000). The very notion of strategy implies projecting organizations into the future through decisions in the present while building on the past. Performance and competitive advantage are believed to depend on speed of decision making and execution (Baum and Wally, 2003; Eisenhardt, 1989; Dykes et al., 2018), and on capturing windows of opportunity by entering markets at the “right” time (Hawk et al., 2013; Suarez and Lanzolla, 2007) and sequencing decisions correctly (Pettus et al., 2018). Tensions and tradeoffs between the short term and long term are inherent to key strategic decisions about innovation and sustainability (Crilly, 2017; Flammer and Bansal, 2017; Laverty, 1996; Slawinski and Bansal, 2015). Moreover, scholars have shown the strategic importance of temporal fit or “entrainment” (Ancona and Chong, 1996) between environmental and organizational rhythms (Hopp and Greene, 2018; Khavul et al., 2010; Shi and Prescott, 2012).

Beyond analyses of time as an “objective” construct, recent research has also suggested that “subjective” temporal assumptions, preferences and dispositions of top management teams (such as temporal orientation towards past, present or future, temporal depth, and polychronicity) can have significant implications for strategic decision making, strategic change, and economic and social performance (Chen and Nadkarni, 2017; Crilly, 2017; Kunisch et al., 2017; Nadkarni et al., 2016; Souitaris and Maestro, 2010)

And yet, while considerable attention has been devoted in strategic management research to time-related constructs and their antecedents and consequences, more work is needed on what managers and others actually do or can do to intervene with respect to important time-related phenomena, and on how their temporally-oriented practices and activities accomplish strategic outcomes. In other words, we suggest an increased focus on action and agency, expressed in the theme of this special issue of Strategic Organization: “Temporal Work: The Strategic Organization of Time.”