Charging for collaboration: Exploring the dynamics of temporal fit in interdependent constellations for innovation

Wouter P.L. van Galen (Corresponding author), Bob Walrave, Sharon A.M. Dolmans, A.G.L. Romme

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The development of a suitable public charging system for electric vehicles relies on inputs from many complementary organizations that need to synchronize interdependencies across different activities, organizations and industries. Research on temporal fit has focused on synchronizing activities within or external to the organization, rather than exploring synchronization across multiple organizations with highly interdependent yet colliding temporal structures and multiple time-givers. Drawing on a case study of a collaborative effort to create a national charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, we theorize the interplay between various highly interdependent actors. The resulting theory posits that actors combine and shift between different innovation practices to organize time and explains how multiple, yet interdependent actors engaging in temporal work attempt to accomplish temporal fit. Three entrainment dynamics are identified: 1) temporal tug-of-war through ecosystem configuration; 2) temporal dictating through group politics; and 3) ecosystem navigation through temporal ambivalence. These dynamics arise both between and within groups of actors when they coordinate innovation practices across multiple temporal structures and time-givers. Together, the simultaneous pursuit of synchronization within and across these different coalitions appears to constrain the realization of the collective goal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5386
Number of pages23
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021


  • Collaborative innovation setting
  • EV charging infrastructure
  • Electric vehicles
  • Entrainment
  • Temporal work


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