Temporality in Organization Studies

Temporality in Organization Studies

We all know that the management of projects involve coping with various type of unexpected events. With projects being subject to extensive uncertainty and complexity, project managers constantly need to be able to adapt and improvise, but which are the temporal skills necessary to do this? For next week we will have the opportunity to read and discuss a work-in-progress paper by our guest Professor Shankar Sankaran, which focuses on the importance of such skills.

The paper is written together with Christopher Biesenthal, Tyrone Pitsis, and ‘the one an only’ Stewart Clegg.

The full paper will be distributed via email.


The aim of this paper is to conceptually extract the temporal skills required by project managers for improvisation in projects in order to deal with the complexity of managing projects within a strategic environment. While the organizational management literature has been emphasising the importance of temporal skills to manage uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity, there is a dearth of project management literature in this discussion. We aim to overcome this gap by providing a literature review on time based on the management and organization (MOS) studies literature and apply relevant concepts to the field of project management. Our aspiration is to take the project management practitioners and researchers away from the normative way of managing time in projects and stretch their view to look at other aspects of time that can be used strategically to manage the variety of situations faced in projects. Our overall goal is therefore to provide practitioners, students and researchers in project management some idea of the temporal skills required to deal with a variety of projects and project situations strategically.