Entrepreneurship as a Career : An investigation into the pre-entrepreneurship antecedents and post-entrepreneurship outcomes among the Science and Technology Labor Force (STLF) in Sweden

Abstract: This dissertation provides a career perspective on entrepreneurship based on the research question: “How do organizational bureaucracy and relative income affect the career choice of entrepreneurship among employees from the science and technology labor force (STLF); and what are the career outcomes in terms of returns during, and post entrepreneurship on re-entry into paid employment?” More specifically, the dissertation investigates (1) how mobility into entrepreneurship versus switching jobs is influenced by the level of bureaucracy in the organization and individual’s relative income compared to similar individuals and (2) how labor market returns after a period in entrepreneurship are influenced by the duration and number of prior spells in entrepreneurship, as well as the level of bureaucracy in the employer organization prior to and after entrepreneurship. Based on a matched employer-employee dataset (1990-2008) provided by Statistics Sweden, the results suggest that organizationalbureaucracy and income inequality markedly influence an employee’s career choice of entrepreneurship versus a job switch, as well the initial income and entry size in entrepreneurship. Additionally, the results indicate that thereturns from entrepreneurship on re-entry into paid employment differ based on the number of years in entrepreneurship, number of spells in entrepreneurship, the employer bureaucracy prior to entry into entrepreneurship, and employer bureaucracy on re-entry into paid employment. The dissertation contributes to the research on entrepreneurial careers, entrepreneurial entry, and the returns from entrepreneurship.