Open Ways for Time Banking Research: Project Management and Beyond

Open Ways for Time Banking Research: Project Management and Beyond

Lukas Valek (Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHCITP.2016010103
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Abstract

This article aims to point out four possible directions which time banking research is taking or should take with some direct examples included. Previous research is compared with various other sources to produce a document which shows fields that should be more stressed in time banking research. They are: project management, knowledge management, retention of users and sustainability of economy related to time banking. Research methodology is based on various methods used during previous researches, and are discussed with literature. Results show three additional directions for the research in its logical conclusion. They are: necessity for further research in the field, necessity of professionalization of time banks and creation of international support network for cooperation in the field, because in time banking there is no competition. The sense of cooperation is to systemize time banking, raise its credit among stakeholders and ease start up process of newly founded time banks.
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1. Introduction

The time banking is around for more than thirty years. During that time it got spread from its country of origin, which is United States, to other countries around the world. Although in some resources (Miller, 2008) we can find also information that the world´s first time bank started in Japan and was founded in seventies by Teruko Mizushima, more globally the idea started to spread approximately ten years later after when E. S. Cahn invented his Time Dollar in US (Cahn & Rowe, 1992).

Time banking is an economic concept which is based on use of a time unit as a currency. It is based on equality and reciprocity, and unlike mainstream monetary system; it is designed to build community and social capital instead of monetary capital. Understanding of time banking in particular environment determines how important is social and trade part of a time bank system.

The time banking concept faces many challenges, and when it comes to other cultural environments, it is often adapted to reflect more particular regional reality (Valek, 2013b). Nowadays there are many time banking movements around the world. Their number is changing and it is very hard to come with precise amount (Blanc, 2011), but their focus is to social economy which gives people a tool to help themselves rather than expect a support from authorities. With spread this wide, there are more than 30 web platforms (Boyle & Bird, 2014) supporting time banking efforts and efforts to unify time banks to stronger groups or alliances.

This article is aiming to show some open ways for research in the field of time banking. The time banking belongs to group of complementary economies, and because they use time as a kind of currency, they are also considered to be a complementary currency system. The word “complementary” is important, because we can also find term “alternative economy” in the literature. The difference between these two words is, in the fact that, alternative is intended as a replacement for current economic systems, or a currency, and a complement only helps in places where current economy, or a currency, fails (Lietaer, 2001). Complements are easier to integrate to the economy, and by its influence, they shift economic paradigm slowly. On the other hand alternative would have to offer complete set of solutions for whole system; therefore it is unlikely that it would really work. To research of complementary currencies is dedicated for example Complementary Currency Resource Center. And there is literature available to demonstrate advantages and risks related to various complementary currency systems (Kenedy, 2012). The reason for existence of these complementary economies and their place in society is not part of this study, as it is rather extensive topic, which filled many books already.

This article is mainly based on previous research in the field of time banking which will be explained further in more detail. There are suggested some possible directions of research such as knowledge management, project management, user retention, sustainability and more.

The content of the article is as follows. After introduction and overview of background and methodology of researches the main topics are elaborated. In discussion there are further open opportunities uncovered which leads to conclusion.

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