Process studies of organizations focus attention on how and why organizational actions and structures emerge, develop, grow or terminate over time. Time, timing, and temporality, are inherent to organizational process studies, yet time remains an under-theorized construct that has struggled to move beyond chronological conceptions of “clock” time. Missing from this linear view are ongoing debates about objectivity versus subjectivity in the experience of time, linear versus alternative structures of time, or an appreciation of collective or culturally determined inferences of temporality. This is critical because our understanding of time and temporality can shape how we view and relate to organizational phenomena-as unfolding processes or stable objects. History is an equally important but under-theorized concept in organization studies. Organizational theorists have struggled to move beyond two limited conceptualizations of historical processes: history as a constraint on organizations’ capacity for change, or history as a unique source of competitive advantage. Both approaches suffer from the restrictive view of history as an objective set of “brute facts” that are exterior to the individuals, organizations, and collectives that experience them. The historical turn in management has triggered an effort to re-theorize history in organizations in a more nuanced manner, and management theory is acquiring a “historical consciousness”-an awareness of time, history, and memory as critical elements in processes of organizing. This volume draws together emerging strands of interest in adopting a more nuanced orientation toward time and history to better understand the temporal aspects of organizational processes.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages306
ISBN (Electronic)9780198870715
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021


  • Clock time
  • Historical consciousness
  • History
  • Linear time
  • Organizational structures
  • Process organization
  • Temporality
  • Time


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