In organizational research there is an increasing interest in the study of configurations, i.e., of “multidimensional constellations of conceptually distinct characteristics that occur together” (Meyer, Tsui and Hinings, 1993: 1175). Frequently, the object of study is a process, i.e., a complex of activities that unfolds over time (e.g., an innovation project, a reorganisation, an implementation process). The characteristics that form the configuration are “conditions” (e.g., conditions A, B, and C) that are present (A, B, C) or absent (a, b, c). The notation ABC, thus, represents the observation that the three conditions A, B, and C are present in a process that is studied. Temporally ordered configurations can be defined as those configurations in which conditions occur in a specific temporal order (e.g., C→A→B, meaning that, in one case, C appears first, A next, and finally B). In this chapter we use the term “(temporal) sequence” for such a temporally ordered configuration. Note that the term “(temporal) order” is used here empirically as a synonym of the word “(temporal or chronological) pattern” and is not meant normatively (as opposed to “disorder”). Specific temporal sequences might generate or allow outcomes that are not generated or allowed by the same configuration of conditions if they appear in another temporal order (e.g., A→B→C or B→A→C). The terms “generating” and “allowing” (an outcome), which are used here in order to avoid the term “cause”, will be discussed below in the section on necessary conditions.

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Keywords organizational research
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISBN 978-1-78190-778-8
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Series ERIM (Electronic) Books and Chapters
Note Published in: P.C. Fiss and B. Cambré (Eds), Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research, Emerald, Bibgley UK, 2013, pp. 109-129
Hak, A, Jaspers, F.P.H, & Dul, J. (2013). The Analysis of Temporally Ordered Configurations: Challenges and Solutions. In Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Retrieved from