Granting Time: How Social Actors Manage Temporal Multiplicity

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Scholars agree that actors engage with different timing norms and accommodate multiple temporal structures simultaneously. While previous research has examined how organizations manage tension from temporal multiplicity and how individuals deal with inconsistencies between individual and organizational temporal views, little research has explored how social actors manage temporal multiplicity in an institutional context. Based on a study of how professors in higher education institutions who hold large, long-term grants accommodate the multiple temporal structures of their organization, grant, and career, the findings reveal four strategies of managing temporal multiplicity: transcending, reshaping, entraining, and bridging. The findings suggest that professors’ use of these strategies depends on their position in their organization, grant, and career, and that they move laterally between the strategies. The findings demonstrate the dynamic interplay between social actors’ strategies of managing temporality and the potential value of a temporal-structural lens for understanding core challenges in contemporary higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event36th EGOS Colloquium 2020: Organizing for a Sustainable Future: Responsibility, Renewal & Resistance - Virtual Conference, Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 2 Jul 20204 Jul 2020
Conference number: 36


Conference36th EGOS Colloquium 2020
LocationVirtual Conference
Internet address


  • Higher education
  • Social actors
  • Grants
  • Temporal structures
  • Temporal multiplicity
  • Strategies

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