How Managers Perceive Real-Time Management: thinking fast & flow

Pernille Rydén*, Omar A. El Sawy

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    A new era of disruptive technologies and changing business practices is moving a number of industries toward the “real-time” enterprise. With increased capabilities and intensity of online digital platforms, managers need to deliver goods and services faster, and to respond rapidly to customers within a disruptive and dynamic business environment. It is therefore critical to ask what “real time” means to managers, what real-time management entails, and learn how enterprises capture business value through real-time management, especially when the ability to adjust and operate in real time must be ingrained in organization’s culture, structures, and processes. We surveyed over 1,000 senior managers to better understand those issues and to get broader insights into enabling technologies and organizational mechanisms needed to transition more effectively into real-time management. Interviews provided deeper insights about managerial perceptions of real time, and about how, depending on the manager’s focus, real time generates value to the enterprise. We show that managers, who use “real time” in different ways, articulate different facets of experience and practices, leading to the Fast & Flow framework. Thinking of real time as “Fast & Flow” presents a sensemaking that is better attuned to the organization, the market, and a technology-driven state of flux. We provide insights for managers to build a “Fast & Flow” responsive enterprise and to transition to real-time management.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCalifornia Management Review
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)155-177
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Organizational change
    • Organizational design
    • Process innovation
    • Strategic management
    • Technological change
    • Information technology
    • Time-based competition
    • Time pressure
    • Agility
    • Cognitive psychology


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