Handbook of Longitudinal Research Methods in Organisation and Business Studies
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Handbook of Longitudinal Research Methods in Organisation and Business Studies

Edited by Mélanie E. Hassett and Eriikka Paavilainen-Mäntymäki

This innovative Handbook demonstrates that there is no single best approach to conducting longitudinal studies. At their best, longitudinal research designs yield rich, contextualised, multilevel and deep understanding of the studied phenomenon. The lack of resources in terms of time, funding and people can pose a serious challenge to conducting longitudinal research. This book tackles many of these challenges and discusses the role of longitudinal research programmes in overcoming such obstacles.
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Chapter 10: Temporal issues in process research

Carlo Mari and Olimpia Meglio


Time represents an enduring issue for management and organization scholars at both the theoretical and empirical levels. Some scholars focus their attention on the epistemological and methodological implications of incorporating time in research (Bruner 1986; Mohr 1982). Others state that time is one of the most important boundary conditions of any theory (Whetten 1989), or analyse the multiple dimensions of time and how they should be incorporated into research (George and Jones 2000). In empirical research, time has frequently entered management and organization studies as a research variable in the form of time pressure, deadlines or temporal orientation (see Lee and Liebenau 1999 for a review). Still, many scholars complain that time tends to be underplayed in management and organization research (Avital 2000). In this chapter, we intend to analyse the role of time from a rather different perspective. We position our analysis within what Langley (2007) refers to as process thinking or process research, with the aim of analyzing what is the role of time – that is, how time is captured and rendered in empirical research – within such a research orientation.

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