Lee, Jack (2017) An Introductory Study into the Concept of Polychronicity, in Relation to Events Management Agencies and their Employees. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Aim: This research paper aims to introduce an insight in to whether events agencies are more polychronic or monochronic focused.
While striving to achieve the main aim, the research will set out to meet the following objectives.

 To assess events agency employees’ attitudes towards time management situations
 To identify different perceptions surrounding employee work ethics
 To explore the techniques adopted by employees surrounding workload management

The need for this research to be conducted stemmed from observations from within an events agency organisation. Following personal experiences of working within the situation being discussed, an assumptive need for initial research in to the professional environment became apparent due to the, seemingly, minimal number of similar conducted projects. As will become more evident throughout the research, the concept of polychronicity and monochronicity have been researched throughout the years, with the seminal research surrounding these phenomena mentioned throughout, but the discussion of polychronicity and monochronicity were yet to be mentioned in relation to events management.
With few research papers available for adaptation, the approach to this research was purely exploratory, with the aim of introducing the topic of polychronicity and monochronicity being at the forefront as opposed to producing sound reasoning to support an existing industry problem. Following a mixed method data collection technique, seminal work on polychronic and monochronic self-tests were adapted in order to assess employee attitudes towards time management in relatable situations to agencies. A fresh approach was introduced with a qualitative task, exploring techniques that participant’s follow in relation to workload management and giving them free rein to advise their best practice with possibilities to contribute further with additional comments. Harmonising with one another, the results are comparable and aid in meeting the final objective of identifying different perceptions surrounding employee work ethics.

Key findings:
It can be seen from the research discussions that the agency environment can be considered as more polychronic than monochronic. The results are not conclusive enough to confirm whether it is becoming a polychronic-only environment, but they are strong enough to suggest the aim of the research has been met as an introductory relationship between agencies and polychronicity has been discussed with reference to it being more polychronic focused.
Overall, the quantitative results illustrated that the sample was made up of mainly monochrons with an even split falling short by 3%. The polychronicity focus comes from the identification of themes such as working around other people which led to a new concept of forced polychronicity which stemmed from references to “juggling tasks” and literary references of dovetailing due to depending on external parties before completing tasks. Other themes followed the view on the concept of time, whether tangible from monochrons or flexible from polychrons and the discussion surrounding internal policies and agreements put in place between the organisation and the client. Participants also had the opportunity to contribute to the research with their thoughts and beliefs, with responses such as the environment making the “job feel overwhelming” making them feel “stretched out across too many projects at one time” and believing working in this environment is “not a sustainable way to work for long periods”.

As the research follows an interpretivist route, the sample size was justified for being small as it allowed for more complex data collection, but the final sample who responded was slightly too small to allow for an in depth and comparative analysis of the results, which also impacted on the representation of the identified categories as they could be deemed as not a fair representation. The final qualitative data collection method, although unique and successful in its own right, did not produce results with the desired depth and would have performed better if following the route of the identified diary method or a more observational method to truly satisfy the qualitative results and gain more input from the respondents themselves. In line with the depth of the results being less than desired, the complexity of the project itself proved greater than originally expected, suggesting this project is better suited when carried out over a longer duration as it would allow for data to be collected on numerous occasions and revisited in order to produce more comparative and reliable results.

FINAL THESIS - Lee, J..pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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