Chasing Tornadoes: Temporal Work to Foster Group Engagement Under Uncertainty With Nina Granqvist, Professor at Aalto University School of Business

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 15:00 to 16:30


Experiences of group engagement have a significant influence on performance and members’ satisfaction with work. In temporally uncertain settings however, unpredictable transitions between idle and busy periods disrupt members’ immersion. Through an ethnographic study of storm chasing teams in Tornado Alley, we investigate how groups foster engagement with temporally uncertain work. We found that while efficiently structuring and coordinating time helped groups get to storms, it could exacerbate the difficulty of engaging and disengaging across transitions. We develop a process model showing how groups switch between forms of temporal work to facilitate transitions – enabling experiences of temporal control through broadening focus and compressing duration in idle-to-busy transitions, and immersive durations through extending duration and narrowing focus in busy-to-idle transitions. This permits engagement across episodes of uncertain work where anticipated encounters are brief, unpredictable, and interrupted. We contribute by developing a temporal perspective to engagement at work, showing how groups set and experience the temporal context within which they encounter tasks and how this permits or constrains engagement. We also advance a durational perspective on uncertain work in organizational temporality, founding how experiences of duration represent a key concern and a core aspect to be accounted for and managed in organizations.

Brief Biography

Nina Granqvist is Professor at the Aalto University School of Business. Her research focuses on how new markets emerge and develop in contexts such as quantum computing, nanotechnology, food trends and impact investing, and explores work and strategies included in such transitions of ideas and technologies from margins to mainstream. Theoretically, her research draws on and contributes to our understanding of institutions, market categorization, technology, temporality and narratives. Her work has been published in Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and Journal of Management Studies, among others. Nina is Senior Editor in Organization Studies and an editorial board member in AMJ, Organization Theory and Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Kilevej 14A, room K143

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The page was last edited by: Department of Organization // 01/16/2024