When time falls apart: recentering human time in organisations through the lived experience of waiting

Katie Bailey, Roy Suddaby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Research on the lived experience of organisational temporalities has thus far overlooked the potential significance of what happens in the interstices that arise between temporal structures. To address this gap, we examined how individuals in three occupations experienced one such interstitial temporal form: waiting. Our analysis of waiting time uncovers two distinct and overarching temporal macro-structures that govern how workers use and experience time in organisations: intensified-organisational - the speeded-up, intensified temporality of modern forms of work organisation, and adaptive-organic, that represents natural and human temporalities. Waiting emerges as a paradoxical temporal experience which individuals simultaneously welcome yet seek to eliminate; one that stands outside temporal structures yet serves to reinforce them. From a human perspective, waiting furnishes moments during which time can be ‘undone’, affording us micro-moments to reclaim and re-centre time in organisations as human time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1053
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number7
Early online date21 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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