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RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR i RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Series Editors: Barry M Staw and L L Cummings Volumes 1–20: Research in Organizational Behavior – An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews Series Editors: Barry M Staw and Robert I Sutton Volumes 21–23: Research in Organizational Behavior – An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews Series Editors: Barry M Staw and Roderick M Kramer Volume 24: Research in Organizational Behavior – An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews Volume 25: Research in Organizational Behavior – An Annual Series of Analytical Essays and Critical Reviews Volume 26: Research in Organizational Behavior – An Annual Series ofAnalytical Essays and Critical Reviews ii RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR VOLUME 27 RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AN ANNUAL SERIES OF ANALYTICAL ESSAYS AND CRITICAL REVIEWS EDITED BY BARRY M STAW Haas School of Business, University of California, USA Amsterdam – Boston – Heidelberg – London – New York – Oxford Paris – San Diego – San Francisco – Singapore – Sydney – Tokyo JAI Press is an imprint of Elsevier iii JAI Press is an imprint of Elsevier The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK Radarweg 29, PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495, USA First edition 2006 Copyright r 2006 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier’s Science & Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK: phone (+44) (0) 1865 843830; fax (+44) (0) 1865 853333; email: permissions@elsevier.com Alternatively you can submit your request online by visiting the Elsevier web site at http://elsevier.com/locate/permissions, and selecting Obtaining permission to use Elsevier material Notice No responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, in particular, independent verification of diagnoses and drug dosages should be made British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN-13: 978-0-7623-1335-8 ISBN-10: 0-7623-1335-8 ISSN: 0191-3085 (Series) For information on all JAI Press publications visit our website at books.elsevier.com Printed and bound in The Netherlands 06 07 08 09 10 10 iv CONTENTS LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS vii PREFACE ix PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Brent W Roberts EMPOWERMENT THROUGH CHOICE? A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF CHOICE IN ORGANIZATIONS Roy Yong-Joo Chua and Sheena S Iyengar 41 IDEAS ARE BORN IN FIELDS OF PLAY: TOWARDS A THEORY OF PLAY AND CREATIVITY IN ORGANIZATIONAL SETTINGS Charalampos Mainemelis and Sarah Ronson 81 ‘‘HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH TO YOU? SUBJECTIVE EVALUATIONS OF HELP IN ORGANIZATIONS’’ Francis J Flynn 133 HOW, WHEN, AND WHY BAD APPLES SPOIL THE BARREL: NEGATIVE GROUP MEMBERS AND DYSFUNCTIONAL GROUPS Will Felps, Terence R Mitchell and Eliza Byington 175 v vi CONTENTS TOWARD A SYSTEMS THEORY OF MOTIVATED BEHAVIOR IN WORK TEAMS Gilad Chen and Ruth Kanfer 223 CODE BREAKING: HOW ENTREPRENEURS EXPLOIT CULTURAL LOGICS TO GENERATE INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE Hayagreeva Rao and Simona Giorgi 269 ROADS TO INSTITUTIONALIZATION: THE REMAKING OF BOUNDARIES BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCIENCE Jeannette A Colyvas and Walter W Powell 305 THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE TEMPORAL COMMONS Allen C Bluedorn and Mary J Waller 355 LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Allen C Bluedorn Department of Management, University of Missouri – Columbia, Columbia, MO, USA Eliza Byington School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA (student) Gilad Chen Robert H Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, MD, USA Roy Yong-Joo Chua Columbia Business School, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA Jeannette A Colyvas School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA Will Felps School of Business, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA Francis J Flynn Columbia Business School, New York, NY, USA Simona Giorgi Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA Sheena S Iyengar Columbia Business School, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA Ruth Kanfer School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA Charalampos Mainemelis Department of Organizational Behavior, London Business School, London, UK Terence R Mitchell School of Business, University of Washington, WA, USA Walter W Powell School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA vii viii LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Hayagreeva Rao Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA Brent W Roberts Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, USA Sarah Ronson Department of Organizational Behavior, London Business School, London, UK Mary J Waller School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands PREFACE This 27th volume of Research in Organizational Behavior carries forward the tradition of high-level scholarship on a broad array of organizational topics Like many previous volumes, this collection is truly interdisciplinary It contains chapters ranging from personality and decision making in organizations, to interpersonal dynamics such as helping and group process, to organizational-level analyses of legitimization and change The volume begins with three chapters that reformulate some long-standing issues concerning individual behavior in organizations In the first chapter, Brent Roberts takes a fresh look at personality development and change over the life-course Instead of the usual dichotomy of person vs situation effects, Roberts addresses both the continuity and development of personality as individuals enter and interact with organizations over time With a new theoretical model, the neo-socioanalytic framework, this chapter resolves person-situation debates by elaborating the appropriate unit of analysis for individual differences as well as the paths by which individuals and situations mutually influence each other In the second chapter, Roy Chua and Sheena Iyengar re-examine the role of choice in organizational life Although much psychological theory and research touts the positive role of choice, suggesting that it confers personal agency and intrinsic motivation, Chua and Iyengar note how people’s decision making and well-being may be impaired by too much choice They show that, when confronted with a set of undesirable or stressful choices, people tend to delay choosing, shift the responsibility to others, or opt not to choose at all Even when there are equally attractive alternatives from which to choose, people tend to defer decisions or rely on the default option Thus, while Americans and other Westerners widely endorse the idea that ‘‘more choice is better,’’ the actual consequences of choice may not so benign, with important implications for issues such as job design, procedural justice, and leadership For the third chapter, Charalampos Mainemelis and Sarah Ronson discuss the many ways play and creativity are inextricably bound They persuasively argue that play, either as a form of engagement with work tasks or as a form of diversion from work, can help to stimulate creativity By ix 382 ALLEN C BLUEDORN AND MARY J WALLER Working with the engineers, Perlow introduced a new form of time to the product development engineers along with a new set of norms to accompany it This new time was quiet time (Perlow, 1997, pp 115–128), and it was designed to address problems created by the old temporal commons, while simultaneously promoting the achievement of the organization’s goals (Perlow, 1997, p 116) What was quiet time? Quiet time was simply a specific time of the day during which the engineers ‘‘would be left uninterrupted for blocks of ‘quiet time’ ’’ (Perlow, 1997, p 116) In other words, it would be a known time during which spontaneous interactions would be forbidden As a change in temporal commons, the institution of quiet time was just as revolutionary for this section of the company as the English Temporal Revolution had been for England The creation of quiet time ipso facto created a second form of time, ‘‘interaction time.’’ Prior to the change, almost all of work time was interaction time, although it had no label Now there were two forms of time, one in which spontaneous interactions were permitted and actually encouraged, and another form in which all such interactions were forbidden And once these forms were created, it became necessary to specify the boundaries between them, which provided additional variables to examine during this field experiment So different times of the day were tried as were different ways of specifying the different time frames As Perlow noted (1997, p 120), the purpose of quiet time was not to de-emphasize the importance of the engineers interacting with each other; rather, it was simply to provide the engineers with known periods of uninterrupted time From the standpoint of both efficiency and effectiveness, quiet time was a success, a new form of time that substantially improved the temporal commons in this section of the company Specifically, quiet time seemed to facilitate the engineers’ ability to get more of their work done without having to work as much on weekends or late into the evening, which amounts to an increase in efficiency (the same amount of work being accomplished in fewer hours) Further, the division vice-president credited quiet time for the unit being able to launch on time the new product the engineers had developed, which from the standpoint of several stakeholders (e.g., company managers, owners, and customers) would be an indication of effectiveness So from the standpoint of making productive use of resources – efficiency – quiet time improved the temporal commons It also increased effectiveness from the standpoint of several stakeholder groups (e.g., managers and owners), and perhaps the stakeholder group comprised the engineers themselves, for the changes in the unit’s temporal commons also seemed to enhance their professional work activities, and to some extent, though not for The Stewardship of the Temporal Commons 383 all (Perlow, 1997, p 126), their personal lives as well In terms of the latter effects, the quiet time revolution was more positive than the English Temporal Revolution But in terms of temporal depth, though, the quiet time change was ineffective because quiet time was never institutionalized in this section of the company, so the practice faded away and would fail the test of effectiveness over the long term (longer temporal depth) Perlow’s field experiment did allow, literally, for experimentation with the structural amount of polychronicity in the engineers’ workday, and in this respect, it was effective in providing an example of a fundamental dimension in all temporal commons Polychronicity is about how many things people prefer to be engaged in at once, specifically, how much people (1) prefer to be engaged in two or more tasks or events simultaneously, (2) actually engage in behaviors consistent with these preferences, and (3) believe the best way for people to things is the way they prefer to engage tasks and events (Bluedorn, 2002, p 51) Perlow systematically varied the polychronicity structure of the engineers’ workday in her experiment – although she did not conceptualize this manipulation in terms of polychronicity – by making it less polychronic Before she introduced quiet time, the engineers’ days were spent ‘‘continually flipping back and forth from individual to interactive work’’ (1997, p 77) Quiet time reduced the continual flipping back and forth characteristic of a high level of polychronicity (see Bluedorn, 2002, p 53), at least for parts of the day Compared to the English Temporal Revolution, which continues in some ways to the present time (e.g., the emphasis on speed, Gleick, 1999, and speed-based strategies, Blackburn, 1991; Stalk & Hout, 1990), the quiet time change in the temporal commons at this company was short-lived Although the engineers’ and their executives liked the practice of quiet time and the temporal commons it engendered – the engineers even reached a collective agreement to continue it – Perlow (1997, p 124) noted that after the experiment ended there was ‘‘a marked deterioration in the individual’s adherences to quiet time,’’ which she attributed to the lack of sanctions for violating it and the absence of any change in the cultural assumptions about what it took to succeed at work (1997, p 127) Basically, some parts of the organization’s culture overwhelmed the nascent beginnings of changes in another part of the culture, the short-lived changes in the temporal commons It is noteworthy that Perlow herself, in a discursive footnote, relates these causes to the engineers reverting to their pre-experimental behavior, the collective sum of which she likens to the ‘‘tragedy of commons’’ (1997, p 127), suggesting we identified an apt example, indeed 384 ALLEN C BLUEDORN AND MARY J WALLER But Perlow may have demonstrated not just the impact of quiet time in one unit, but the more general principle that temporal commons can be very difficult to change deliberately As mentioned earlier, efforts to change the week in France during the French revolution and in the Soviet Union during the 1930s received considerable resistance, even in the context of harsh and repressive political regimes Perhaps this is because many dimensions and attributes of temporal commons are located at the level of culture Schein labeled ‘‘basic underlying assumptions’’ (Schein, 1992) Two characteristics of basic underlying assumptions may explain the difficulty of changing a temporal commons First, many of the beliefs and values at this level are held below the level of conscious awareness, which makes them difficult even to discuss Second, beliefs and values at this level are about the most fundamental aspects of reality, of which time is one So the specific beliefs and values about time would be, by their nature, held to be beliefs and values about very important aspects of life, and by definition, taken to be true This would naturally make them difficult to change for who would willingly shift their view to believe and behave in a way understood to be wrong about issues that are also considered fundamental? A temporal commons is not impossible to change, but it is likely there will often be cultural impediments to most changes Group The preceding example involved part of an organization, yet the organization’s culture ultimately determined the long-term outcome of attempts to change the temporal commons portion of the culture in one part of that organization This leads us to a consideration of groups in their own right, albeit within an organizational context The example we have chosen to illustrate yet more attributes of the temporal commons is Connie Gersick’s (1988, 1989) well-known field and laboratory research on the punctuated equilibrium phenomenon in work groups, and in particular for groups with a deadline for accomplishing a single, creative project A deadline is, of course, a temporal phenomenon, a milestone by which certain tasks are to be performed As such, a deadline establishes a specific time horizon for not only a group’s accomplishments, but, as for many of the groups Gersick studied, the end of the group’s existence A time horizon, be it that of an individual, group, or organization, has been more formally conceptualized as part of a larger phenomenon, temporal depth, which was discussed earlier in the article, and is ‘‘the temporal distances into the past and future that individuals and collectivities typically The Stewardship of the Temporal Commons 385 consider when contemplating events that have happened, may have happened, or may happen’’ (Bluedorn, 2002, p 114; see also Bluedorn, 2000, 2005) And as Bluedorn has noted, temporal depth has gone relatively unstudied, although a small amount of work has been done, usually under the label of time or planning horizon, an example of which is the Judge and Spitzfaden (1995) study discussed earlier Until recently, even descriptive statistics about the lengths of the future horizon of individuals or organizations did not really exist in publicly accessible outlets Some recent research has reported such statistics for American college students (Bluedorn, 2002), a random sample of Missouri entrepreneurs (Bluedorn & Richtermeyer, 2005), and a random sample of American publicly traded corporations (Bluedorn & Ferris, 2004) Based on the statistics reported in these studies, the deadlinedefined time horizons of the groups Gersick studied in the field would all be characterized as either short- or mid-term time horizons, varying as they did from one week to six months (Gersick, 1988, p 13), while the laboratory groups were given 60 minutes to complete their creative task (Gersick, 1989) In many ways, the deadline-imposed future temporal depth was the strategic parameter, not just in the groups’ temporal commons, but as the central fact of life for the group, because it literally defined the limit of each group’s life Perhaps it is this salience that led the group deadlines to apparently determine the overall pattern through which the groups progressed as they did their work, the pattern that has become famous in organizational behavior and is known as an example of punctuated equilibrium The pattern that Gersick discovered was that these groups began their work in a certain way, substantially changed their routines and the behavior of individual group members half-way to the deadline at a point known as the ‘‘mid-point transition,’’ and then worked to the deadline in fundamentally different ways than they did during the first half of their existence (Gersick, 1988, 1989) In some ways, this model of the overall process displayed by these groups is similar to Perlow’s field experiment with the product development engineers in which she created a new form of time in the engineers’ work unit, by that establishing two forms of time rather than the preceding one form Gersick’s punctuated equilibrium model indicates there are at least three forms of time that predictably develop in groups of the type she studied But unlike the types of time established in Perlow’s field experiment, those Gersick observed did not overlap: the process time in Phase (the first half of the group’s existence) differed from the process time during the mid-point transition which differed from the process time in Phase (the second half of 386 ALLEN C BLUEDORN AND MARY J WALLER the groups’ existence) Further, with the possible exception of the mid-point transition, the differences that distinguished Phases and were not sufficiently consistent across the groups to easily label them descriptively (c.f., the ‘‘quiet time’’ and ‘‘interaction time’’ labels in Perlow’s experiment) Instead, the labels ‘‘Phase 1’’ and ‘‘Phase 2’’ are used, which clearly communicate that the two time periods are different, but really communicates nothing about the nature of the differences So rather than quiet time or interaction time, or banana time (Roy, 1959–1960), or tea time, prime time, or face time, we simply know that the two times, Phases and 2, will differ, but the specific nature of the differences cannot be completely anticipated beforehand Gersick’s research demonstrated the central role the groups’ deadlines played in determining the general form of the process that would unfold as the groups proceeded with their activities, and as such, provides a specific example of the strong effect the temporal commons has on group activities – temporal depth being one attribute of a temporal commons In the cases Gersick studied, the impact of this temporal depth factor also seems positive for the groups, the larger organizations of which they were a part, and for their members individually The deadlines seem to have promoted the development of the process for the groups’ work in a way that led to the successful completion of the groups’ tasks, which would be an indicator of effectiveness from the standpoint of stakeholders such as the groups’ leaders and likely other managers in the organizations of which they were a part Consequently, this element of the temporal commons clearly promoted the productive use of resources, hence the groups’ efficiency, but lacking deadline-free comparison groups we cannot say for sure whether the groups Gersick studied were more efficient than deadline-free groups, even though we strongly suspect they would be more efficient than such groups We note that even under unstable deadline conditions, with deadlines being shifted backward or forward in time, groups still seem to engage in a clear transition at the mid-point (Waller, Zellmer-Bruhn, & Giambatista, 2002) And without a deadline, the transition might never occur, or at least take much longer to occur, thus extending the amount of time the group will take to accomplish its work, making it less efficient So in terms of singleproject groups that are given a specific deadline, hence a specific length of the future time horizon in their temporal commons, the impact of the temporal commons, especially the temporal depth component, seems to affect both the groups’ efficiency and effectiveness As for the more general impact of the temporal depth component on other types of groups (e.g., on-going groups), little evidence has been The Stewardship of the Temporal Commons 387 published Even the series of experimental studies McGrath and his colleagues conducted (summarized in McGrath & Kelly, 1986) involved fixed time intervals for the groups, hence deadlines Similarly, there is some evidence to support the claim that a long-term horizon is superior to a shortterm horizon for societies (Ashkanasy, Gupta, Mayfield, & Trevor-Roberts, 2004) and for organizations (Bluedorn & Ferris, 2004), but these results are not completely clear cut, certainly not enough to confirm the type of strong claims Ouchi (1981) made for the superiority of a long-term horizon However, some note that the combination of individuals’ temporal perspectives (i.e., past, present, or future orientations) in a group may lead to varying levels of success in completing work under deadline conditions (Waller, Conte, Gibson, & Carpenter, 2001) This idea is supported by Judge and Spitzfaden’s (1995) findings Although they were dealing with entire organizations, the nature of their findings resonates for other levels of analysis as well As noted in previous discussions in this article, Judge and Spitzfaden found that no single temporal depth was related to organizational performance (effectiveness); rather, it was the mix of time horizons that was related to organizational effectiveness, albeit effectiveness as measured by the traditional owner/manager stakeholder criterion of profitability Their findings indicate that the greater the variety of future temporal depths employed by the companies’ managers, the greater the companies’ effectiveness This suggests the question: Is a long temporal depth generally better in terms of effectiveness? But this misframes the issue, and it is more properly framed as what is the best mix or balance of temporal depths in a given situation? And this framing would seem to apply to individuals and groups, organizations and societies CONCLUSION We have described the idea of a commons as a resource or a nexus of resources held in common by a human collectivity, have shown that a commons can involve intangible resources as well as tangible, have illustrated ways in which actors have asserted ownership of intangible common resources, and then proceeded to define and describe the temporal commons and its enclosure via marketization We presented one example from each of four different culture-carrying human aggregations – civilizations, societies, organizations, and groups – and these examples illustrated both some of the temporal attributes that comprise such a commons as well as how the management of a temporal commons could be evaluated in terms of efficiency and effectiveness 388 ALLEN C BLUEDORN AND MARY J WALLER A theme underlying all of these discussions is the concept of human agency – not necessarily human agency as manifested in the form of a human leader, although this is possible, but likely more prevalent is an agency manifesting itself collectively and at times not even consciously The basis for such a thesis is, of course, the point that time and the organization of all its attributes (e.g., systems of time reckoning, punctuality, speed, polychronicity, and temporal depth) by human collectivities is a social construction (Bluedorn, 2002), and like all social constructions, time is amenable to human direction But this brings us to one last question: direction by which humans? Does everyone have an equal say, or are some voices more persuasive than others? As political beings, it is unlikely that everyone will have an exactly equal say about anything Nevertheless, three of the four examples clearly show differential impacts on the temporal commons Gregory XIII had much more influence on the calendar system than any other person of his time The factory owners and managers in 18th and 19th century England had much greater power than even Gregory the XIII had when it was their turn to change a temporal commons, in their case the imposition of a time discipline that placed punctuality and speed in the ascendancy And finally, in the case of Gersick’s project groups, whoever delegated the project to the group and set the deadline for completing it had a greater impact than any group member or even the collective action of the groups The sole exception to such wide power differentials was observed in the organization Perlow studied in the context of a field experiment to change the temporal commons of one part of it (the unit of the project development engineers) In that case, Perlow worked with the group and reached agreements with them about changing their temporal commons So in the case of this collectivity, the change was decided by relatively democratic means In all these cases, those making the decisions exercised stewardship over their culture’s temporal commons, and in these cases they did so deliberately although they probably did not foresee all of the consequences their changes would engender, such as the processes that would unfold in Gersick’s groups It is an appropriate political question to ask, though: are all these stewards the appropriate ones to exercise this voice while others remain silent, or as in the case of the English working class in the 18th and 19th centuries, not silent, but ineffective? To illustrate the question of who should say, we will turn to one final example, for as this analysis was being written the U.S Congress was debating a deliberate attempt to alter the American temporal commons The issue under debate was a proposal to lengthen the portion of the year in which daylight saving time would The Stewardship of the Temporal Commons 389 operate The stated reason for the proposal was to save energy with claims made that electricity use would be reduced by one percent from such an extension (Fialka, 2005, p D2) The empirical evidence for this claim was shaky at best (Wall Street Journal, 2005a), and had even been questioned by a credible authority over 30 years before by an individual the U.S government had asked to examine the evidence for such a claim the last time the U.S increased the period of daylight saving time for the same reason His conclusion: ‘‘The interim report before me indicated no overall energy savings linked to advancing the nation’s clocks an hour’’ (Bartky, 2000, p x) A number of other voices were heard in the minutes before this change would have slipped through the U.S Congress little noticed Several religious groups objected to any lengthening on the grounds that increasing the darkness in the mornings would place school children at greater risk of accidents from school buses and other vehicles as well as make them more vulnerable to ‘‘individuals who prey on children’’ (Fialka, 2005a, p D2) Software vendors and utilities opposed the change too because they believed ‘‘computer software and meters with electronic chips that record time will have to be changed, a project that could take years and cost millions of dollars’’ (Fialka, 2005b, p D2) Even the Secretary of Energy urged the Congress to drop the proposal because he believed it would cause ‘‘serious international harmonization problems for the transportation industry’’ (Fialka, 2005a, p D2) in the words of the Air Transport Association, ‘‘throwing U.S arrivals at foreign airports out of synchronization with European schedules’’ (Fialka, 2005a, p D2) These are all legitimate stewardship voices, including those of the representatives who proposed the legislation Indeed, even the less than profound voices of candy makers excited about the possibility of increased candy sales at Halloween that such a change might generate (Zaryouni, 2005, p D1) are legitimate, but should other voices be heard as well? The last time the length of the daylight saving time period was increased in the United States, it was increased, at least in part, due to the lobbying efforts of the Daylight Savings Time Coalition, whose members (companies in the fast food, greenhouse, and sporting goods industries) wanted daylight saving time to begin earlier in the spring because they thought it would increase their sales (Varadarajan, Clark, & Pride, 1992, p 44) The members of this coalition were exercising stewardship from the standpoint of their own self-interests, not those of the country as a whole But the rest of the country was not similarly organized, so we would argue that when agencies of government control part of the temporal commons, as in the case of daylight saving time, a democratic government 390 ALLEN C BLUEDORN AND MARY J WALLER has the responsibility to make sure a representative array of voices speak and are heard on the issue But the larger part of most temporal commons is not under direct government control (e.g., How would one legislate polychronicity?), so the issue of stewardship is elusive Perhaps the nascent stewardship theory (Davis, Schoorman, & Donaldson, 1997) proposed as a different approach to organizational governance than agency theory (Jensen & Meckling, 1976) will provide some guidance, but it will need to develop more theoretically in order to so So we are not prepared to prescribe who time’s stewards should be, other than to say everyone may have a role to play in its stewardship Time by its nature seems to be conservative, for efforts to change any aspect of a temporal commons are usually met with resistance and often end in failure – notable examples being the failures of both revolutionary France and the Soviet Union to change the length of the week (Zerubavel, 1985, pp 27–43) and the ultimate outcome of Perlow’s experiment with quiet time discussed earlier But to blithely continue with an ‘‘ignorance is bliss’’ attitude may not be desirable either Perhaps the foundation of progress is simply the understanding that human beings construct time and its organization and are, hence, to some degree capable of changing it Achieving this kind of recognition may be what the Norwegian government had in mind when it asked each of its citizens to devote one hour of a working day to the contemplation of time and its use (Kahn, 2000) It may well be that no two people ‘‘living at the same time live in the same time’’ (Jaques’s emphases, 1982, p 3), meaning that we all create our own times to a certain extent, but all members in a collectivity will be affected by the collectivity’s temporal commons, even if not in exactly the same way We ignore our responsibility for stewardship of our temporal commons at our own risk How much we risk is illustrated well in the history of the scientific management movement and the debate over it (Kanigel, 1997) In the early years of that debate, N P Alifas, a leader in the American labor movement, made the following statement: The people of the United States have a right to say we want to work only so fast We don’t want to work as fast as we are able to We want to work as fast as we think it’s comfortable for us to work We haven’t come into existence for the purpose of seeing how great a task we can perform through a lifetime We are trying to regulate our work so as to make it an auxiliary to our lives and be benefited thereby Most people walk to work in the morning, if it isn’t too far If somebody should discover that they could run to work in one third the time, they might have no objection to have The Stewardship of the Temporal Commons 391 that fact ascertained, but if the man who ascertained it had the power to make them run, they might object to having him find it out (Commons, 1921, pp 148–149) Beliefs, values, norms, and practices about speed are prominent elements of a temporal commons, and this statement illustrates one side of the debate about this aspect of the American temporal commons, at least as it existed in the American workplace early in the 20th century On the other side, of course, were the disciples of Frederick Taylor, driven by the quest for ever greater production efficiency, hence for an increase in the speed at which workers performed their tasks In this case, though, there was at least some debate about this issue although it would appear the scientific management side generally prevailed Given what we would argue was scientific management’s Pyrrhic victory, it is well to be reminded that Max Weber (1904–1905/1958) described the modern economic complex of material goods and the technological and organizational means used to produce them as an ‘‘iron cage,’’ which could well lead to ‘‘Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved’’ (p 181) If so, using one of the criteria, effectiveness, we have proposed for evaluating the stewardship of temporal commons, it is fair to ask of the technological and organizational developments: to what end? Repeating Steve Jobs’ point, the journey is the reward, but how rewarding is it to live in an immutable cage for most of one’s life? Who would want Frederick Taylor as a jailer? 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Colyvas and Walter Powell illustrate how institutional change can be created, not by exogenous shocks, but by endogenous practices and understandings They show how legitimacy and takenfor-grantedness... the need for safety or self-actualization but rather the need for status and the need for belonging (Hogan, 1982) Status motives subsume the desires for social status, money, fame, and social... principles and practices, including how organizations create meaning for their employees (Pratt, 2000) This type of information can and is used to create new understanding of human nature and organizations,
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