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In Praise of Slack: Time Is of the Essence

M. B. (Buff) Lawson
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005)
Vol. 15, No. 3, Themes: Insights from Sports, Disasters, and Innovation (Aug., 2001), pp. 125-135
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165766
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
In Praise of Slack: Time Is of the Essence
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Abstract

Organizational slack, in terms of time and human resources that are not constantly subject to measures of short-term efficiency, is important for organizations coping with the challenges of the 21st century. Those who must weigh the pressures for short-term efficiency against the demands for long-term effectiveness in confronting strategic resource-allocation and design decisions should consider the value of slack. Slack is important for organizational adaptation and innovation--two often-cited requirements for organizations of the future. Increasingly complex systems and technologies require more, not less, time for monitoring and processing information. Future demands for strategic flexibility and for integrating learning and knowledge throughout organizations highlight the need to reexamine the importance of time in organizational work--and to recognize that all organizational resources cannot be committed to immediate output efforts if we are to have time to pay attention, think, and benefit from the knowledge gained.

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