Purpose – 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.
Design/methodology/approach – 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.
Findings – 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.
Originality/value – Burnout has not been extensively explored in the context of entrepreneurs.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/c_david_shepherd/8/