Studying Organization from the Perspective of the Ontology of Temporality: Introducing the Events-based Approach

Anthony Hussenot, Tor Hernes, Isabelle Bouty

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This chapter suggests an events-based approach that can be used to understand organization as a temporal phenomenon. To date, the ontology of time sees the present, the past, and the future as different and discrete temporal epochs and thus prevents us from understanding activities as a creative process in which the past, the present, and the future are constantly redefined to give meaning and sense to actors. Conversely, an ontology of temporality enables us to grasp the situated nature of organizational phenomena. We argue that an events-based approach provides a better understanding of how past, present, and future events are constantly co-defined and configured, thereby enabling actors to gain a sense of continuity, i.e. a sense about their history, the present moment, and an expected future. Following a discussion of the nature of an events-based approach, we discuss the contributions and implications of such an approach by showing how it redefines the very subject of organization and brings insights to the study of contemporary organizational phenomena.
TitelTime, Temporality, and History in Process Organization Studies
RedaktørerJuliane Reinecke, Roy Suddaby, Ann Langley, Haridimos Tsoukas
Antal sider19
ForlagOxford University Press
ISBN (Trykt)9780198870715
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780192643711
StatusUdgivet - 2021
NavnPerspectives on Process Organization Studies


  • Temporality
  • Time
  • Events-based approach
  • Process philosophy
  • Organization