Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


This paper uses work system theory (WST) to explore the temporal nature of sociomateriality. It summarizes concepts related to WST and sociomateriality, and notes sociomaterial aspects of WST. It uses static and dynamic views of a work system toexamine six examples that can be classified in one of three time frames, minutes-to-hours, days-to-weeks, and months-to years. The result is a straightforward interpretation of systems and related events across all of the time frames, which exhibit different types of phenomena related to adaptations, workarounds, emergence of informal work patterns, and sequences of formal projects. After approaching sociomateriality from a perspective not usually associated with that genre, this paper concludes that ambiguity about the intended time span of assertions related to entanglement and inseparability should be remedied. At minimum, it should be clear whether these phenomena occur instantaneously or in time spans of minutes-to hours,days-to- weeks, or months-to-years.