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It appears that within contemporary experience economies, time is often perceived to be an even more critical consumption resource than money. The article investigates how horse enthusiasts structure their consumption of time. To do so, the article addresses time as an object of consumption, specifically time consumed within free time, and with particular reference to horse enthusiasts. The data was generated through two sources; focus groups, whose input was supplemented by the use of pictorial collages and netnographic analysis of the blogs of horse enthusiasts. The findings reveal the prior understanding of time concepts as they emerge through balancing. In mechanical time, enthusiasm for horses both takes time and is given time; natural time was organized between time enjoyed and time endured; and social time featured time spent and time killed. Further, a fourth dimension arose, engrossing time, when the balancing was between time devoted and timeless time. These four dimensions fit into a theoretical model based on the realm of experiential time consumption. In this model, the four time dimensions could also be interlinked. When mechanical and social time intertwined, what can be termed slow-life comes to the fore. On the other hand, when natural time and engrossing time become connected, it is possible to have a flow experience. This conceptualisation provides prompts for thinking about managing and designing horse-related businesses and other free-time-related services.

Keywords: Consumption of time; experiential consumption; focus groups; free time

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Management Cases (IJMC) developed in 2002 from its predecessor The Journal of Management Cases, and present case studies across a broad range of management disciplines. The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group spreading over 70 universities.
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