Entrepreneurs’ mental health and well-being: A review and research agenda

Ute Stephan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest in entrepreneurs’ mental health and well-being (MWB) is growing in recognition of the role of MWB in entrepreneurs’ decision making, motivation, and action. Yet relevant knowledge is dispersed across disciplines, which makes what we currently understand about entrepreneurs’ MWB unclear. In this systematic review I integrate insights from 144 empirical studies. These studies show that research is focused on three research questions: (1) Do different types of entrepreneurs differ in their MWB? What are the (2) antecedents and (3) consequences of entrepreneurs’ MWB? The review systematizes evidence on known antecedents and consequences of entrepreneurs’ MWB but also reveals overlooked and undertheorized sources and outcomes of entrepreneurs’ MWB. The review provides a mapping and framework that advance research on entrepreneurs’ MWB and help to position entrepreneurs’ MWB more centrally in management and entrepreneurship research. It calls for researchers to go beyond applying models developed for employees to understand entrepreneurs. Instead, the findings point the way to developing a dedicated theory of entrepreneurial work and MWB that is dynamic, socialized, and open to considering context and acknowledges variability and fluidity across entrepreneurs’ life domains, as well as the centrality of work for entrepreneurs’ identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-322
Number of pages33
JournalAcademy of Management Perspectives
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018, Academy of Management. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.


  • entrepreneurship
  • well-being
  • mental health


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