The relationship between job dissatisfaction and the decision to leave paid employment in favour of business ownership is explored. Particular attention is paid to the level of job satisfaction enjoyed by the sample studied prior to founding a new business ‐ the job satisfaction of male and female respondents; the specific causes of satisfaction or dissatisfaction; the satisfaction reported following business ownership. It is concluded that dissatisfaction with promotion and a number of issues associated with superior‐subordinate relations appear to be related to the move. Significantly, potential business founders may be people with entrepreneurial talent who, if they could be retained in an employee role, might make a valuable contribution to the success of their employing organisation. The human resource manager must identify such people and redefine their role in such a way that they will be more satisfied with the status of employee and make an effective contribution to organisational performance.
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