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Entrepreneurial burnout: exploring antecedents, dimensions and outcomes

C. David Shepherd (Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)
Gaia Marchisio (Management and Entrepreneurship Department, Coles College of Business, Cox Family Enterprise Centre, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Sussie C. Morrish (Department of Management, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Jonathan H. Deacon (Newport Business School, University of Wales, Newport, UK)
Morgan P. Miles (Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 27 April 2010




The purpose of this paper is to conceptually and empirically explore the antecedents and consequences of entrepreneurial burnout – that is burnout related to the process of discovery or creation of attractive economic opportunities, the assessment of these opportunities, and the decision on the exploitation of opportunities.


This study is a survey of entrepreneurs in New Zealand who were alumni of a university sponsored executive development course for owner‐managers of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises.


It is found that role stress is positively related to burnout and that burnout has a negative impact on organizational commitment, organizational satisfaction, and relative perceived firm performance. In addition, implications for entrepreneurs are offered with the objective of providing suggestions to mediate the negative consequences of entrepreneurial burnout.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is limited by culture – the sample was drawn from New Zealand entrepreneurs; survivor bias – only successful owner‐managers who self‐selected for executive education were in the sampling frame; and the limits of the metrics. The first additional questions would be how widespread is the problem, and how does that vary by type of entrepreneurial endeavor? The secondary research priority concerns the antecedents of burnout in the entrepreneurial context.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurial burnout may have significant social and economic costs that can be minimized with proper treatment and prevention.


Burnout has not been extensively explored in the context of entrepreneurs.



Shepherd, C.D., Marchisio, G., Morrish, S.C., Deacon, J.H. and Miles, M.P. (2010), "Entrepreneurial burnout: exploring antecedents, dimensions and outcomes", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 71-79.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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