On Time, Space, and Action Nets
Laboratory studies, especially those by Latour and Woolgar (1979/1986) and Knorr Cetina (1981) proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration for students of organizing. Laboratories, however, are mostly reminiscent of simple factories, an organization form that is no longer central in today’s world of work organizations. Two aspects of factory-like organizing are problematized in this paper: the dominance of chronological time and the existence of centers of calculation. Complementing these with kairotic time and dispersed calculation will bring the two kinds of studies even closer. Such a rapprochement will allow for adjusting the methodological approaches in studies of organization in a way similar to that dominant in SST (studies of science and technology) research. Two such changes are suggested: the reversal of the time perspective (action nets instead of organizations as study objects) and mobile ethnologies, facilitating study of the ways of life and work of people who move around a great deal.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law