Managing in Dynamic Business Environments

Managing in Dynamic Business Environments

Between Control and Autonomy

Edited by Katarina Kaarbøe, Paul N. Gooderham and Hanne Nørreklit

This timely and innovative book focuses on budgeting control and ongoing Beyond Budgeting trends and its consequences for the organization. Ensuring an optimal balance between individual autonomy and management control is a critical challenge for organizations operating in dynamic business environments. Too much of the former leads to chaos, and too much of the latter guarantees rigidity. This book explores the tensions that arise in seeking the best possible balance between these two dimensions. Resolving these tensions is a critical challenge for achieving competitiveness.

Chapter 8: Management control as temporal structuring

Sebastian D. Becker and Martin Messner

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, strategic management


The timing of activities and events plays a central role in everyday life (McGrath and Rotchford, 1983; Roe, 2009). We try to “find time” to get things done, we experience situations in which we “run out of time,” we realize when it is the “right time” to do something, and we hope that “time passes” more or less quickly. In short, time is a fundamental building block of our life as human and social beings (Heidegger, 1927). The time perspective is also important for understanding the workings and characteristics of organizations. Organization is, to a large extent, the organization of time. This is evident, for example, in the scientific management movement and its concern with time-and-motion studies, which is a root of management and organization theory (Taylor, 1911; Clegg, 2009). Similarly, many contemporary concepts and principles of management, such as just-in-time manufacturing (Schonberger, 1986; Orlikowski and Yates, 2002), time to market (Cohen et al., 1996), time-based management (Stalk and Hout, 1990) and the organizational life cycle (Cameron and Whetten, 1988), relate to the organization of time. Moreover, a number of recent managerial innovations, such as Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (e.g., Kaplan and Anderson, 2007), real-time management (Yeh et al., 2000), improvements in accounting and information systems (Hopwood, 2009; Czarniawska, 2013) and the emerging discourse on sustainability (Orlikowski and Yates, 2002), involve some element of time and timing in organizations.

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