It’s about Time! CEOs’ Temporal Dispositions, Temporal Leadership, and Corporate Entrepreneurship

Academic Article


  • How CEOs think and feel about time may have a big influence on their firms’ strategies. We examine how two distinct CEO temporal dispositions—time urgency (the feeling of being chronically hurried) and pacing style (one’s pattern of effort over time in working toward deadlines)—each influence corporate entrepreneurship, a key strategic behavior. We propose that CEOs’ temporal leadership—how they manage the temporal aspects of top management teams’ activities—mediates the relationships between their temporal dispositions and corporate entrepreneurship—firms’ innovation, corporate venturing, and strategic renewal activities. Using a sample of 129 small and medium-sized Chinese firms, we find that CEOs’ time urgency is positively related to their temporal leadership, which in turn is positively related to corporate entrepreneurship. We also examine the effects of three distinct pacing styles: early-action, meaning the CEO exerts the most effort early in the task process and relaxes as the deadline nears; steady-action, meaning the CEO spreads out effort evenly across the time allotted; and deadline-action, meaning the CEO is most active as the deadline nears. We find that the deadline-action style inhibits CEOs’ temporal leadership, but the steady-action and early-action styles have similar effects on their temporal leadership. This study explicates the dispositional basis of executives’ subjective views of time, demonstrating how CEOs’ temporal dispositions shape firms’ behaviors.
  • Authors

  • Chen, Jianhong
  • Nadkarni, Sucheta
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2017
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 31
  • End Page

  • 66
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 1