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The Silent Politics of Temporal Work: A Case Study of a Management Consulting Project to Redesign Public Health Care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gerry McGivern, Sue Dopson, Ewan Ferlie, Michael Fischer , Louise Fitzgerald , Jean Ledger, Chris Bennett

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2017


King's Authors


In this article, we discuss temporal work and temporal politics situated between groups with different temporal orientations, arguing that attention needs to be paid to covert and unarticulated silent politics of temporal work. Drawing on a case study of a management consultancy project to redesign public health care, we explain how unarticulated temporal interests and orientations shape the construction of problems, which, in turn, legitimate tasks and time frames. We also show how task and time frames are temporarily fixed and imposed through boundary objects, and the way these may then be reinterpreted and co-opted to deflect pressure to change. Thus, we argue, unarticulated, covert and political temporal interdynamics produce expedient provisional temporal settlements, which resolve conflict in the short-term, while perpetuating it in the longer run.

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