Entrepreneurial Well-Being The Payoff Structure of Business Creation

University dissertation from Stockholm : Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: Given the importance of entrepreneurship to individuals and to society, and given that the individual has come to be seen as not only an important function of social and economic processes but also as an important end of these processes, the link between entrepreneurship and well-being requires further investigation. To that end, this thesis provides a solid framework for understanding and measuring well-being in entrepreneurship, and a comprehensive theoretical and empirical examination of the intimate relationship between these two phenomena.Some new and very interesting results were produced:• Active engagement in the creation of new business activities leads to greater well-being by granting the freedom to self-organize work and working relationships, which satisfies individual’s needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.• Entrepreneurial engagement is detrimental to mental health during its early inception in planning and deliberation, which may explain why many fail to transition from thought to action in entrepreneurship.• The presence of a discrepancy between extrinsic life goals and motives is just as strong a predictor of well-being in entrepreneurship as the presence of strong intrinsic life goals and motives.• Entrepreneurial Well-Being, a context-specific state of mental wellness derived from engagement in entrepreneurship, uniquely contributes to entrepreneurs’ overall well-being and is associated with a range of cognitive and motivational processes crucial to entrepreneurship.The reasons for these findings, and the mechanisms involved, are explained at length.My hope is that this work will usher on the adoption of a more integrated approach to assessing and optimizing entrepreneurial performance in terms of both business outcomes and mental health outcomes, as well as offer insights relevant to well-being and its promotion on a more general level.