Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and entrepreneurship

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45 Scopus citations


Several empirical papers have reported an association between attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and facets of entrepreneurship. While much research has documented that adults with ADHD often are impaired in the occupational domain and have difficulties maintaining full-time employment, these recent papers intimate that entrepreneurship may represent an attractive occupational option for adults with ADHD. Indeed, adults with ADHD who are entrepreneurs anecdotally report benefiting in their entrepreneurial endeavors from their ADHD. From this perspective, symptoms and traits associated with ADHD might be beneficial, not impairing. This paper discusses ADHD theory and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD and how both may translate to entrepreneurship, then reviews the existing data that have been published on the association between ADHD and entrepreneurial intention and entrepreneurial orientation. These data suggest that hyperactivity symptoms (and not inattentive symptoms) may be more responsible for the reported associations between ADHD and aspects of entrepreneurship. At this point, the research on ADHD and entrepreneurship is too nascent to propose practical implications, but this paper suggests potential directions for future research and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-265
Number of pages23
JournalAcademy of Management Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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