Nonprofit leaders and for-profit entrepreneurs: similar people with different motivation

Martin Lukeš, Ute Stephan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Today's market conditions require nonprofit leaders to act in an increasingly business-like fashion. This study asks whether NPO leaders have a similar disposition to act entrepreneurially as for-profit entrepreneurs, but hold different underlying motives. For this purpose, the study contrasts a sample of 72 leaders of nonprofit organizations with 117 entrepreneurs on their personality traits and explicit motives using standard personality tests and interviews. Both groups exhibit similar general and entrepreneurship-specific personality traits but differ significantly regarding their motivation. While nonprofit leaders' motivation stems primarily from the meaningfulness of their work; entrepreneurs are mainly motivated by the independence as well as by the income and profit provided by their work. This paper helps us understand who leaders of nonprofit organizations are.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-55
Number of pages15
JournalCeskoslovenska Psychologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • personality
  • motivation
  • nonprofit leaders
  • entrepreneurs
  • Czech Republic


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