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A palace fit for the future: Desirability in temporal work

Alimadadi, S; Davies, A; Tell, F; (2021) A palace fit for the future: Desirability in temporal work. Strategic Organization 10.1177/14761270211012021. Green open access

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Abstract

Research on the strategic organization of time often assumes that collective efforts are motivated by and oriented toward achieving desirable, although not necessarily well-defined, future states. In situations surrounded by uncertainty where work has to proceed urgently to avoid an impending disaster, however, temporal work is guided by engaging with both desirable and undesirable future outcomes. Drawing on a real-time, in-depth study of the inception of the Restoration and Renewal program of the Palace of Westminster, we investigate how organizational actors develop a strategy for an uncertain and highly contested future while safeguarding ongoing operations in the present and preserving the heritage of the past. Anticipation of undesirable future events played a crucial role in mobilizing collective efforts to move forward. We develop a model of future desirability in temporal work to identify how actors construct, link, and navigate interpretations of desirable and undesirable futures in their attempts to create a viable path of action. By conceptualizing temporal work based on the phenomenological quality of the future, we advance understanding of the strategic organization of time in pluralistic contexts characterized by uncertainty and urgency.

Type: Article
Title: A palace fit for the future: Desirability in temporal work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/14761270211012021
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14761270211012021
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: qualitative methods, research methods, strategy as practice, strategy formulation, strategy process, time horizon/pacing/temporality, topics and perspectives
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett Sch of Const and Proj Mgt
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129378
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