Habitual entrepreneurs: Possible cases of entrepreneurship addiction?

April J. Spivack, Alexander McKelvie, J. Michael Haynie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the underlying psychological processes that may motivate habitual entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurship repeatedly. By drawing on the psychology literature on behavioral addictions, such as workaholism and Internet use, we develop a framework that defines the symptomatology of what we identify as a "behavioral addiction to entrepreneurship." Through interviews with two habitual entrepreneurs, we demonstrate how these addiction symptoms manifest in the entrepreneurial context. We also demonstrate how psychological, emotional, and physiological aspects of the entrepreneurial experience reinforce a behavioral addiction to entrepreneurship. Our theorizing offers insights into the psychological origins of repeated engagement in venture creation activities and yields insights into possible "dark side" of entrepreneurship outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)651-667
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 09.2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Behavioral addiction
  • Entrepreneurial behaviors
  • Habitual entrepreneurs
  • Workaholism


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