Effective time management and Organisational performance: A case study of Qatar non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Cultural differences have an effect on time management practices. The time management practices would then influence key job performance outcomes. A relationship, thus, exists between time management cultures and job performance which then influences organisational outcomes. Most of the time management research has, however, mainly focussed on monochronic western cultures. There is, therefore, very little insight into whether relationship in other cultural contexts, such as polychronic Middle Eastern countries.
The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of time management practices on organisational performance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Qatar. The study employs a multi-case study approach using three NGOs: Qatar - Japanese Friendship Society, Qatar Centre for Child Culture and Doha Centre for Media Freedom, in order to investigate the possible relationship that has been found to be mainly positive in monochronic western cultures. In investigating the relationship, the study also examines the perceptions (meanings) of time and identifies the factors that influence time management behaviours, in particular, the role of leadership and culture.
The study adopts a mixed methods research methodology from a pragmatic perspective, employing questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. In total, 278 questionnaires were administered to employees and 7 interviews conducted with top management of the selected NGOs in Qatar.
The study found that time management was of great importance and that cultural differences played a crucial role in its determination. Analysis of the interviews revealed that cultural factors had a strong impact on time management. It was also found that there was very little understanding about the impact of monochronic time and polychronic time. However, the study revealed that Qatari NGO employees had attributes that characterise polychronic culture and that the employees was interested to learn more about monochronic practices.
In addition, the study showed that there was indeed a linkage between time management behaviours and organisational performance. The study found that aspects of job outcomes, examined in respect of work balancing, work load and awareness building, were positively and significantly impacted by time management practices. Further, the research found that the NGOs under investigation have gradually been coming to terms and implementing effective time management strategies. These are increasingly recognised as important for the NGOs to achieve their organisational objectives.