Time and Space in Strategy Discourse: Implications for Intertemporal Choice

Crilly, D (2017) Time and Space in Strategy Discourse: Implications for Intertemporal Choice. Strategic Management Journal, 38 (12). pp. 2370-2389. ISSN 0143-2095 OPEN ACCESS


Research Summary: When describing the future, executives draw analogies between time and space (“we’re on the right path,” “the deadline is approaching”). These analogies shape how executives construe the future and influence attitudes to action with long-term benefits but short-term costs. Ego-moving frames (“we are approaching the future”) prompt a focus on the present whereas time-moving frames (“the future is approaching”) underscores the advent of the future as inevitable. Ultimately, action that prioritizes long-term returns depends both on how executives conceive of the future and whether they believe they can engender favorable outcomes. This balance between recognizing the inevitability of the future (time-moving frame) and the capacity to shape outcomes (control beliefs) stands in contrast to the more agentic forms of discourse that are dominant in strategy. Managerial Summary: Executives often prioritize maximizing immediate returns over investing to build a long-term competitive advantage. How they think about the future offers one explanation for this short-termism. This paper distinguishes two ways of framing the future with implications for decision-making. Are we approaching the future (the ego-moving frame), or is it approaching us (the time-moving frame)? As long as executives have confidence in their ability to achieve forecasted results, they focus on long-term returns in their decision-making when they recognize the advent of the future as inevitable (the time-moving frame). In contrast, though executives often use the ego-moving frame to show that they are active agents, they weigh future returns less heavily when framing the future in this way.

More Details

Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Additional Information:

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Crilly, Donal (2017), Time and Space in Strategy Discourse: Implications for Intertemporal Choice. Strategic Management Journal, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.2687. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2017 10:01
Date of first compliant deposit: 27 Jun 2017
Subjects: Corporate strategy
Strategic planning
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 01:22
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/825

Export and Share


Accepted Version - Text


View details on Dimensions' website

Downloads from LBS Research Online

View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item