Time is a defining feature of human activity, but has been underexamined in theories of entrepreneurial action. This is perplexing given that entrepreneurial action is oriented toward novel creations that unfold under conditions of uncertainty, where temporal concerns may be especially impactful. This paper addresses this lacuna by introducing a framework that articulates the key dimensions of time that entrepreneurs consider. We advance that entrepreneurs organize and shape their visions of entrepreneurial endeavors by constructing time-calibrated internal narratives. These narratives address the dimensions of initialization (i.e., timing of action), pace (i.e., time from action to outcome), and chronology (i.e., sequencing of action). Our theoretical model identifies how variations in these dimensions affect the likelihood of entrepreneurial action. We further specify that narrative vigilance and externalization moderate these effects, with hyper levels of each reversing the relationships. Together, our conceptualizations reveal how entrepreneurial time calibrations are themselves an essential lever for action. We discuss the implications of these insights for a range of perspectives on the ways entrepreneurs engage their craft, with special attention to dynamic process-centered frameworks.

dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2018.0060, hdl.handle.net/1765/134778
Academy of Management Review
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Wood, M.S. (Matthew S.), Bakker, R.M. (Rene M.), & Fisher, G. (Greg). (2021). Back to the future: A time-calibrated theory of entrepreneurial action. Academy of Management Review, 46(1), 147–171. doi:10.5465/AMR.2018.0060