Ruled by the calendar?

Public sector managers on meetings, calendars, and time

  • Joakim Thelander
  • Malin Åkerström

Abstract

This paper discusses modern organizational meetings in the public sector, with a focus on time, specifically the planning and scheduling of time among managers. In this qualitative analysis, data were gathered through an ethnographic study of managers in several public organizations, all in Sweden. During interviews and field observations, the managers mentioned several strategies for dealing either with their fully booked calendars, or for handling what they described as boring or meaningless meetings. These strategies can be conceptualized as a form of “meeting resistance” among the managers in these organizations. Meetings are important for understanding how organizations are constituted in everyday work life and how staff members experience and manage time during workdays. Their retold experiences and strategies raise issues of meeting resistance and, in a wider sense, questions of power and control over time at work. By using a variety of strategies for negotiating and resisting the rule of the calendar, the managers may achieve a greater sense of control over their time.

Publicerad
2019-09-03
Referera så här
Thelander, J. och Åkerström, M. (2019) ”Ruled by the calendar?”, Sociologisk Forskning, 56(2). Tillgänglig vid: https://sociologiskforskning.se/sf/article/view/18803 (åtkomstdatum: 17september2019).
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