Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Time is not money! Temporal preferences for time investments and entry into entrepreneurship


Organization Science


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Gutierrez C;Sloof R;Crilly D


Publication Year



Starting a business requires investing both money and time in the hope of future financial benefits. Since investments and potential gains happen over time, the way in which individuals value the future relative to the present—i.e., their temporal preferences—may be an important driver behind the decision to become an entrepreneur. Whereas existing research examines temporal preferences for financial gains, we advance this research by theorizing about temporal preferences not only for money, but also for the future time commitments that entrepreneurship entails. Results from a lab-in-the-field study show that individuals who heavily discount future time investments are more likely to become entrepreneurs. In two follow-up studies, we confirm that recent startup founders discount future time investments more than salaried workers. We also provide suggestive evidence of the mechanisms at play: recent startup founders perceive the future differently than salaried workers, both viewing themselves as more agentic vis-à-vis the future and perceiving the future as more distant. We discuss the implications of temporal preferences—not only for money, but also for time—for understanding the behavioral drivers of entrepreneurship.

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox


Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.