Easy Now, Desirable Later: The Moderating Role of Temporal Distance in Opportunity Evaluation and Exploitation


Andranik Tumasjan, tel.: +49 89-28924823; e-mail: andranik.tumasjan@wi.tum.de, to Isabell Welpe at welpe@tum.de, and to Matthias Spörrle at matthias.spoerrle@myfham.de.


How does the temporal distance between the phases of evaluation and exploitation alter entrepreneurs' opportunity evaluation? Building on construal level theory, we argue that the impact of an opportunity's desirability and feasibility on evaluation and exploitation intentions varies systematically with temporal distance. We experimentally demonstrate stronger influences of desirability on evaluation when the exploitation phase is temporally distant rather than near, whereas feasibility more strongly affects evaluation when exploitation is near rather than distant. Using construal level theory, we explain empirical inconsistencies in previous research and demonstrate the usefulness of integrating the concept of temporal distance in entrepreneurship research and education.