Granting Time: How Individuals Manage Temporal Multiplicity

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This paper explores how and why individuals (not organizations) in an institutional setting manage temporal multiplicity. Previous research has focused mainly on how organizations respond to competing temporalities or how individuals, from a psychological perspective, cope with tension between their own view of time and social pressures for coordination. Yet, we know too little about how individuals manage temporal multiplicity and how the institutional context affects their responses. Studying this issue in the context of higher education, I conducted 71 interviews with professors who had received large, long-term grants in biomedical research. My findings suggest that the grants changed the professors’ temporal contexts and that the professors responded to this new context by developing either synchrony or asynchrony with their organizations. These findings are theoretically important because they unveil the processes and conditions that shape individuals’ responses to temporal multiplicity. The findings also suggest why, in an institutional setting, it is easier to grant time than to adopt it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event37th EGOS Colloquium: Organizing for an Inclusive Society: Meanings, Motivations, and Mechanisms - Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, WWW
Duration: 8 Jul 202110 Jul 2021
Conference number: 37


Conference37th EGOS Colloquium
LocationVrije Universiteit
Internet address


  • Conflicting demands
  • Grants
  • Higher education
  • Individuals
  • Temporal multiplicity
  • Time

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