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PhD course

Accounting for Time: Public Bureaucracies in a Changing Environment

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring, Autumn
  • Course codeAORG909
  • Resources

Main content

Course description

Language of instruction


Course content

Issues of time, temporality and temporal dynamics are central to any form of organizational life. In a public sector environment, they are omnipresent when deciding on policy priorities (e.g., when and in what order to engage in certain actions), during policy program development and implementation (e.g., budget cycles, setting up time budgets and horizons) as well as when dealing with major economic, health or terror-related crisis events (e.g., response speed, sequence, and length).

This course has three main goals. It aims to

i) deepen students' theoretical and conceptual knowledge of time and temporal dynamics in public sector settings,

ii) develop their understanding of the role of temporal dynamics in public management and governance (including crisis management), as well as

iii) strengthen their methodological toolbox to study temporal dynamics at the individual and organizational levels.

To achieve these three aims, an important and unique feature of the course lies in its combination of both substantive and methodological modules, which will offer students thorough and comprehensive insights into the issues that arise form - and during - the study of public bureaucracies in a changing environment.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, doctoral students should be able to:

  • critically reflect on the concept of time and its various forms and roles within public organizations in an changing environment
  • identify, discuss and value the role(s) of time for public sector governance, including crisis management.
  • outline, develop and implement methodological strategies and research designs aimed at capturing temporal dynamics.

Study period

06.12.2021 - 10.12.2021

Credits (ECTS)


Specific terms

Course registration and deadlines

The application deadline is 31 October 2021.

Within 7 November: Decisions to all applicants about course admittance

Within 15 November: Deadline to confirm attendance for accepted participants

Please register here

Compulsory Requirements

  • Class participation and discussion (participation in at least 80 % of seminars)
  • Submit draft of research essay
  • Discussion on a peer's presentation

Form of assessment

  • Presentation and discussion of a research paper during on the seminar presentations.
  • Hand-in of an individual research paper submitted three weeks after the end of the course (5000 words +/- 10%).

Who may participate

PhD candidates (MA/MS students and Faculty/Staff)

Applicants for the course must write a brief (250-400 word) that describes how temporality and temporal dynamics are relevant to - and will be addressed within - their own research. Course admittance is based in part on this brief.

Maximum 20 participants. Support for travel and accommodation can be provided for at most five students if necessary, but students will also be able to follow the lectures digitally

Additional information


Day 1:

  • Module I: "Time and temporal dynamics in public administration"
  • Paper presentations by PhD students

Day 2:

  • Module II: "Crisis events and public sector governance"
  • Paper presentations by PhD students

Day 3:

  • Module III: "Temporal dynamics in socialization and politicization"
  • Paper presentations by PhD students

Day 4:

  • Module IV: "Tools to study temporal dynamics in public administration research"
  • Paper presentations by PhD students

Day 5:

  • Paper presentations by PhD students

Complete course description with programme in Mitt UiB


Applications: Zuzana Murdoch, Zuzana.Murdoch@uib.no

Administrative support and registration: Kristin Hjelmeland Hope, Kristin.Hope@uib.no

Academic responsibility

Professor Zuzana Murdoch


Zuzana Murdoch, professor UiB

Prof. Klaus Goetz, LMU Munich

Prof. Hussein Kassim, University of East Anglia

Prof. Benny Geys, BI Norwegian Business School

Prof. Eva Sørensen, Roskilde University

Assoc. Prof. Falk Ebinger, WU Wien

Course location

University of Bergen


Study period

06.12.2021 - 10.12.2021