Exploring the Temporality of Food Organizations in Liquid Modernity: The Case of Beer and Milk

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The contribution of our paper is to show how food organizations strive to enact coherent temporalities in the face of what Bauman describes as “liquid modernity”. Liquid modernity offers the possibility to explore temporal spans that range from the instantaneous to the distant past and future. Because food organizations are challenged to enact their time between natural time and human time while abiding by the constraints of industry, liquid modernity challenges their ability to enact multiple and sometimes contrasting temporalities. Drawing on data from a brewery and a dairy corporation, our study illustrates how their time enactment takes place along three dimensions. First, through what we call “malleable time”, including the contraction and dilation of time horizons. Second, through what we call “projective time”, signifying the outward enactment of time onto others. Third, through what we call “simultaneous time”, signifying the simultaneous enactment of different time horizons. We argue that time enactment poses its own set of dilemmas for managing food organizations, which are discussed, not just for food organizations, but in relation to other organizations confronted with the realities of liquid modernity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management: At the Interface - Georgia, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
Conference number: 77


Conference77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Time enactment
  • Food industry
  • Liquid modernity
  • Nature
  • Temporality

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