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Time, Self and Reified Artefacts

[journal article]

Knights, David; Yakhlef, Ali

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Abstract Discursive accounts of time tend to focus on a deconstruction of taken-for-granted notions of clock time, restricted to linear measurable units. By contrast the present article examines some of the discourses and practices deployed by managers in their attempts to control time; in the final instance, it shows how time can be a mystery that escapes such managerial pursuits and preoccupations. More specifically, we draw on Levinas’s ideas on time and the ‘Other’, and use two managerial discourses to illustrate how reification (through the use of technological and institutional artefacts) as attempts to control time tend to result in a proliferation of participation but, equally, an insistence on participation may invoke an intensification of control through reification. Reified relationships invariably result in a perpetual return to the Other, or what we have called participation. However, to varying degrees, our participatory mode is not possible without reification. Yet ‘relationships’ cannot be completely delegated to rationally calculating devices, formal institutions, or markets. Cooperation has its source not in reified forms of rationality (nor of irrationality), but in the human encounter with the Other. The organizational, social order is based on personal relations and personal responsibilities.
Free Keywords credit scoring; outsourcing contract; participation; personal relations; reification; time and the ‘Other’;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 283-302
Journal Time & Society, 14 (2005) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)