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A System Dynamics Perspective on Timescapes in Organizations

Multi-Level Issues in Organizations and Time

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1434-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-499-7

ISSN: 1475-9144

Publication date: 17 July 2007


This chapter uses a system dynamics approach to do a constructive replication (Lykken, 1968; Kelly, Chase, & Tucker, 1979; Hendrick, 1990) and extension of Reeves-Ellington's (this volume) timescape theory illustrated in his case study carried out at different hierarchical levels in Procter & Gamble. The timescape theory of temporal fit consists of two time perspectives – business time and social time – that compete for application. The senior-management level plays a key role in determining which timescape dominates. Reeves-Ellington argues that his findings show that organizational performance diminishes when there is a lack of fit between the timescapes of senior management and those of other levels of management. Our system dynamics model tests this notion and finds that the timescape case does not allow sufficient time to clearly demonstrate the hypothesized fit effects. In addition to timescape fit, environmental consumer demand aspects, which were not considered in the original case, are argued to affect Reeves-Ellington's performance measures. The system dynamics model's general emphasis on temporality and feedback provide especially for the constructive replication and extension of the timescape theory.


Christian Broberg, J., Bailey, A.D. and (Jerry) Hunt, J.G. (2007), "A System Dynamics Perspective on Timescapes in Organizations", Dansereau, F. and Yammarino, F.J. (Ed.) Multi-Level Issues in Organizations and Time (Research in Multi-Level Issues, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 317-330.



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