Time Management and Your PhD

Schedule and location

Wednesday 25th September & Thursday 26th September

Aalto University BIZ 

On Wednesday the seminar is in Otakaari 1 (former main building), room M203.

On Thursday the seminar is in Ekonominaukio 1 (BIZ's new building), BIZ Lounge & Terrace.


Registration is open August 21- September 17


Professor Kieran Conboy, Lero Software Research Centre and National University of Ireland, Galway (@conboyk; kieran.conboy@nuigalway.ie)


 Professor Virpi Tuunainen, Aalto University School of Business, Finland.


Intended Audience

The workshop is aimed at researchers who:

  • want to reflect and improve their time management skills, particularly in the context of their PhD studies or research projects.
  • are or may be thinking of studying time as a part of their research.
  • want to improve the accuracy and publishability of their research by more effectively addressing time issues in their theoretical framing, research design and thesis/paper writing.


Time is a critically important element of IS research. However, time is an inherently complex, multi-faceted, subtle and socially-embedded in nature. While IS researchers are quick to highlight the impact of ICTs on the speed of organizational and social life, they can be slow to address the multi-dimensional, complex and nuanced nature of time in IS research (Saunders and Kim, 2007, Shen et al., 2014, Nandhakumar, 2002). Despite a strong consensus that richer conceptualizations of time are required (Adam, 2008, Bluedorn et al., 1999, Dubinskas, 1988), time remains theoretically elusive in contemporary studies of work (Saunders and Kim, 2007), often included only as a ‘hidden dimension’ (Das, 1991).

The first part of the workshop will begin by addressing temporality and temporal complexity - why it is important and how it can be embedded into research design. A tutorial on the principles and guidelines that underpin temporality will be offered, with a particular focus on contemporary frameworks in this area. It will address the hidden dimensions of time that we often ignore or underestimate in our research. Together, we will identify these issues and opportunities, and find ways to improve each attendee’s research design and execution to overcome these challenges and exploit these opportunities.

The second half of the workshop will focus on how we can apply this thinking to improving how we manage our own time when completing a PhD or indeed any research project. This will include an overview of tools and best practices for time management and specifically time management in a research context.

Detailed Program

Agenda for Day 1




The importance of time and time complexity in IS research




Contemporary frameworks for managing temporal complexity




Challenges in managing time in the PhD/research process

Exercise: Which time complexities are most relevant to my research?




    Time management in research- Best practices


Reflection and Day 1 Closing

 Agenda for Day 2


Recap of Day 1


Applying time management best practices to your specific research




Exercise: What techniques will I use to improve my time management


Final Reflections on Temporality




1-1 discussions

Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 2 credit points. This requires participating on all of the days and completing the assignment.


Some parts of the workshop will be based on the following articles. Additional published and unpublished material will also be presented. 

Ancona DG, Okhuysen GA and Perlow LA. (2001) Taking time to integrate temporal research. Academy of Management Review 26: 512-529.

Conboy, K. (2010) 'Project Failure En Masse: A Study of Loose Budgetary Control in ISD Projects'. European Journal of Information Systems, 19 :273-287

Kavanagh D, Lightfoot G and Lilley S. (2007) Running to stand still: late modernity's acceleration fixation. Cultural Politics, 3(1), pp.95-122.

Mosakowski E and Earley PC. (2000) A selective review of time assumptions in strategy research. Academy of Management Review 25: 796-812.

Orlikowski WJ and Yates J. (2002) It's about time: Temporal structuring in organizations. Organization Science 13: 684-700.

Shen Z, Lyytinen K and Yoo Y. (2014) Time and information technology in teams: a review of empirical research and future research directions. European Journal of Information Systems 24: 492-518.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for Inforte.fi member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.