Time to change, time for change: How was time used to change a global company?

Heejin Lee, Ji Hwan Lee, Jiman Lee, Chongju Choi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Time is often claimed as the core of culture, and culture is an essential aspect of organizational change. Therefore, time can affect, and be affected by, organisational change. The role of time is rarely investigated in organisational development and change. This paper describes and analyzes a case where time was used as a catalyst for organisational change. In early 1990s, an alarm rang among the employees of one of the largest conglomerates (chaebol) in Korea, Samsung, that it was ®time to change to compete and survive in the global market. The companys chairman ingeniously spotted ®time as a tool for change. The company introduced a new temporal scheme by which its employees had to start at seven in the morning and leave office at four in the afternoon. This paper investigates how the new temporal scheme affected various aspects of organizational culture, which in turn caused organizational change. The new temporal system contributed to facilitating organizational change in three ways: (i) by creating a sense of crisis for change, (ii) by searching for new ways of working, and (iii) by making the employees more aware of the value of time as a resource. Although the new temporal scheme failed to survive internal and external challenges, it left many positive heritages to the organizations and employees involved, to some of which the success of the company in following years can be attributed.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 2005 Aug 52005 Aug 10


Other65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems and Management


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