An entrainment-based model of temporal organizational fit, misfit, and performance

Liliana Pérez-Nordtvedt, G. Tyge Payne, Jeremy C. Short, Ben L. Kedia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Entrainment refers to the synchronization of the tempo and/or phase of two or more activities within a system. This article utilizes entrainment theory to develop a conceptual model and related propositions describing and explaining the relationship between temporal fit, misfit, and performance at the organizational level of analysis. Essential to the development of our model is the concept of organization-environment (O-E) temporal fit, which is a state of synchronization or alignment of organization and environment activity cycles. O-E temporal fit is positioned as an important contingency element because temporal misfit implies inefficiencies, substandard performance, and the potential death of the organization over time. Overall, this article offers a theoretical perspective that fills a gap in the extant organizational research literature regarding the elusive and understudied perspective of time and posits its relationship to organizational performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-801
Number of pages17
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Entrainment
  • Fit/misfit
  • Organizational change and adaptation
  • Performance
  • Temporality


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