McKelvie, Haynie research examines habitual entrepreneurship and addiction


Research by Alex McKelvie, associate professor of entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and J. Michael Haynie, Whitman’s Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship, has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Business Venturing. The paper, titled “Habitual entrepreneurs: Possible cases of addiction to entrepreneurship?” examines the underlying psychological processes that may motivate habitual entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurship repeatedly. April J. Spivack is a co-author.

According to the authors, habitual entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs that launch multiple start-ups throughout their careers. Drawing from psychology literature on behavioral addictions, such as workaholism and internet use, McKelvie, Haynie and Spivack develop a framework that defines the symptomatology of “behavioral addiction to entrepreneurship.” Through case studies on two habitual entrepreneurs, they demonstrate how psychological, emotional and physiological aspects of the entrepreneurial experience can create “a behavioral addiction.” Their work, the authors contend, is one of the first to explore the psychological origins of habitual entrepreneurship and possible “dark side” of entrepreneurship outcomes.