Call for papers “Management control as practice workshop: temporal perspectives”

Oct 12, 2022
ESSEC Business School
Jul 15, 2022

The practice turn in management research and social sciences more broadly has underlined practices as the
central point of departure for examining how social order and everyday life are constituted (Whittington 2007,
Feldman and Orlikowski 2011, Kaplan and Orlikowski 2013; Nicolini 2011). Practice approaches have in
common their attention to the situated social practices that are enacted and re-enacted in ongoing routinized
doings and sayings guided by tacit and embodied practical understandings, rather than deliberate, purposeful
goal-setting initiatives and individual decision-making (Chia and Mackay 2007; Reckwitz 2002).
Management control as practice is understood as a bundle of practices and material arrangements (Ahrens
and Chapman 2007) in which time structures the activity, such as in performance assessment, just-in-time
practices, and budgeting. Yet, time plays a specific role in management control practices as time is not only
the target of control practices, but also a product of these practices (Lupu & Rokka, 2021). When managers
have to fill in timesheets, to manage project deadlines and budgets, they account for their time and submit to
an organisational control of time use and tempo, but they also enable entrained organizational behaviours
(Gersick, 1994) which produce a certain temporal order in organizations. In an attempt “to order the intrinsic
flux of human action” (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002: 567), management control practices divide tasks and activities
into temporal sequences, from scheduling the working day, to milestones and project timelines to annual or
quarterly reporting and time-bound performance management practices. The experience of time plays an
important role in the managerial inquiries (Lorino & Mourey 2013) and processes (Hernes, Simpson &
Söderlund 2013). Control practices shape actors’ understanding of time by defining time horizons and periods
(Becker & Messner, 2013; Ezzamel & Robson, 1995). They allow actors to relate to different times such as
making sense of the past in a performance evaluation is also expected to influence actors’ behaviours in the
future (Becker & Messner, 2013).
The aim of this workshop is to bring together like-minded scholars from different disciplines (management
control, IS, human resources etc.) in order to advance the study of control with a particular emphasis on the
roles of time and temporality.
One particularity of new forms of control (e.g. algorithmic controls) is their fluid and dynamic nature, spanning
work and private spheres. Building on a recent special issue of Organization Studies (de Vaujany et al. 2021)
which proposes rethinking control and surveillance by developing a more materialized, spatialized, embodied
and temporalized view in relation to new work practices, this workshop will seek to advance a novel
theorization of control as practice. In interrogating the practices and contextual meanings that emerge from
engaging in various control activities, this project will provide insight into how organizational processes of
control are constituted and constitutive through practice – in essence, how controlling operates (Feldman &
Orlikowski 2011).
We invite researchers interested in control as practice to present their work and discuss their ideas. We
particularly welcome research that pays attention to temporal perspectives.
This workshop seeks to enhance our understanding on topics such as (the list is not exhaustive): – New forms of controlling and control practices;
– How temporal views may better inform our understanding of control as practice;
– How do managers and management controllers experience time in their activities?
– What are the forms of time control in organizations?
– How do the different elements of time, such as rhythm, speed, acceleration, instantaneity, manifest
in control practices?
– How do management control practices integrate the tensions between short-term and long-term
– How does the control of time is linked with power in organizations?
– How do temporal dimensions in control practices connect with professional or organizational identity?
– What are the relations between temporality and materiality in control practices?
– How do technologies and digitization, in particular algorithms, big data and surveillance tools shape
temporalities in organizations?
– How to extend the theorization of temporality and time concepts in control as practice?

The workshop will be held at ESSEC Business School on October 12th and 13th. It is organized by Marie-
Léandre Gomez and Ioana Lupu, associate professors in management control at ESSEC Business School.
The workshop will include sessions for paper presentations and discussions, and two plenary sessions with
key-note speakers. We are pleased to announce the participation of:
François-Xavier De Vaujany, Professor, PSL-University of Paris Dauphine
Barbara Simpson, Professor, Strathclyde Business School, Senior Editor for Organization Studies
Philippe Lorino, Emeritus professor, ESSEC Business School.
A 30€ registration fee will be requested to all the participants. Registration includes lunches on October 12th
and 13th, dinner on October 12th and coffee breaks.
Please submit by July 15, 2022 a short paper, no more than 1,000 words excluding references (.docx or
.pdf file) to: The document should include at a minimum the following information:
purpose of the paper/research question, research methods, findings, link with the theme of the workshop.
Notification of acceptance or otherwise will be sent by August 1st. Full papers will be due by September 15,

ESSEC Business School
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