Time and Temporality in Organisations: the case of Eskom


This paper proposes analysing organisations as temporal phenomena composed of multiple temporalities. We argue that the likelihood that an organisation is well placed to function instrumentally with regard to its formal mandate is when what we will call ‘operational time’ is dominant in the temporal regime. We propose that organisations perform poorly when other temporalities come to dominate the temporal regime and/or when the temporal regime is chronically disrupted. We apply this framework to a study of Eskom, the state power company in South Africa. In Eskom, for example, we show how operational was displaced by a political temporality that ultimately destabilised the temporal regime of the organization as a whole.

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