Time constructions in sustainable organizations

This project addresses the way temporal structures are incorporated and reproduced in organizations, and how they impact the ability of those organizations to develop environmentally sustainable working practices.

Previous research has noted how the ability of organizations to develop sustainable working practices depends on their ability to manage the tensions arising as a result of efforts to weigh up short-term economic considerations against long-term environmental factors. Nonetheless, the time dimension is often merely implicit, or does not feature at all, in organizational sustainability research.

In this project, we will be addressing this shortcoming by studying how various temporal structures, including temporal perceptions and orientations, are reproduced in organizations, impacting their ability to develop sustainable working practices. We are particularly interested in learning more about these interrelationships in order to increase the reflexivity and efficiency in the design and implementation of sustainability-oriented strategies and methods.

The project employs a sociomaterial perspective, focusing particularly on how material objects, environments and technologies serve as co-producers of temporal structures that govern organizations in their efforts to achieve strategic sustainability.

Ethnographic methods will be used to examine organizations that play leading roles in developing environmentally sustainable operations within their respective sectors. This will enable the project to identify best practices capable of inspiring others, including leaders of the future, to create more sustainable organizations.

“Time to act sustainably: How temporal structures condition the development of sustainable work practices”

Principal investigator:
Associate Professor Lotta Hultin 

Stockholm School of Economics
Magnus Mähring 

Lancaster University
Lucas Introna 

University of Queensland
Daniel Nyberg 

Stockholm University

SEK 4.9 million