The Open UniversitySkip to content

The Social Time of Organizational Payment Systems

Bell, Emma (2001). The Social Time of Organizational Payment Systems. Time & Society, 10(1) pp. 45–62.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article explores the relationships between time use and the social construction of meaning surrounding the operation of wage payment systems in three chemical industry organizations. It explores some of the ways that organizational time is subdivided and prioritized, and focuses on the way that patterns of payment for time contribute towards the formation of managerial and shop floor identities. These ideas are developed through the analysis of ethnographic research data, which supports the view that there are multiple kinds of social time in work organizations. It is suggested that much of the management literature concerned with the subject of payment systems treats time as finite, exhaustible and irreversible and this has implications for the way that payment systems are understood by practising managers. Managerial time codes reflect a closely scheduled time culture and reinforce a discourse of progress, whereas employees continue to see work time as something for which they should be compensated.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2001 SAGE
ISSN: 1461-7463
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 48624
Depositing User: Emma Bell
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 15:08
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:48
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU