Presentation by Derin Kent on “Organizing for Temporal Uncertainty: On the road with storm chasers”, 10th of December

You are all invited to what will be a fascinating presentation by Doctor Derin Kent from Aalto University. Derin will be talking about his ethnography with storm chasers, and teamwork under uncertain conditions that epitome the adage of situations swinging between boredom to sheer terror. Derin will be visiting TripleEd during week 50.


WHERE: S 306
WHEN: 10th of December, 13.15 – 15.00
WHO: Anyone that is interested

How do teams engage in temporally uncertain activities, where the work bounces from calm and monotonous to intense and exciting, often unpredictably? Existing management theory emphasizes the organization of time as a coordinating or strategic activity. This view, however, can underestimate groups’ emotional engagement in the temporal dimensions of their work. Its timing, duration, pace, and rhythm can energize and engage organizational participants, or disappoint and disengage them. Based on an ethnographic study of storm chasers in Tornado Alley, we propose that teams coordinate their sense of time in part to maintain role engagement with temporally uncertain tasks. Theorizing temporal organizing as a process of collective role management, we explain our seemingly counterintuitive observations, like storm chasing teams preserving their sense of uncertainty or selecting less plausible expectations about the future. We show how these findings contribute to the literatures on temporality, role engagement, and group culture, and draw practical implications for teams doing temporally uncertain work.

Bio: Derin Kent is a postdoctoral researcher in organization and management at Aalto University School of Business, Finland. He earned his PhD in Management at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada. Kent´s research examines the cultures of groups and organizations working in extreme contexts. He is especially interested in small group processes (like sensemaking and socialization) within organizations in isolated, confined, or extreme settings. To explore these topics, Kent has studied physicians responding to lethal viruses, storm chasers hunting tornadoes, and people restoring their workplaces after terrorism. Kent´s research has been published in Organization Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, and Academy of Management Annals, and has been presented at a variety of international conferences. In addition to research

Research areas: ethnography; extreme contexts; group emotion; identity; organizational culture; sensemaking

Please feel free to distribute this to anyone that you think may be interested!



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