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Individual Temporality in the Workplace: How Individuals Perceive and Value Time at Work

Workplace Temporalities

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1268-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-384-6

Publication date: 1 June 2007


This chapter draws from psychological and organizational research to develop a conceptual model of individual temporality in the workplace. We begin by outlining several general cognitive and motivational aspects of human temporal processing, emphasizing its reliance on (a) contextual cues for temporal perception and (b) cognitive reference points for temporal evaluation. We then discuss how an individual's personal life context combines with the organizational context to shape how individuals situate their time at work through: (1) the adoption of socially constructed temporal schemas of the future; (2) the creation of personal work plans and schedules that segment and allocate one's own time looking forward; and (3) the selection of temporal referents associated with realizing specific, valued outcomes and events. Together, these elements shape how individuals perceive and evaluate their time at work and link personal time use to the broader goals of the organization.


Blount, S. and Leroy, S. (2007), "Individual Temporality in the Workplace: How Individuals Perceive and Value Time at Work", Rubin, B.A. (Ed.) Workplace Temporalities (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 147-177.



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