Despite the high practical relevance of entrepreneurial exit (DeTienne, 2010), research has just started to analyze entrepreneurial exit as a critical part of the entrepreneurial process (e.g., DeTienne & Cardon, 2012; DeTienne, McKelvie & Chandler, 2014).

An individual-level trigger that is considered highly relevant in theory is psychological ownership (DeTienne, 2010), which refers to “the feeling of possessiveness” (Pierce, Kostova & Dirks, 2001, p. 299). An entrepreneur with high psychological ownership should not have an exit strategy or prefer a stewardship exit strategy, which can secure the continuation of the company and may enable higher involvement with the company after the exit (DeTienne, 2010). In addition, a person with low psychological ownership should be more likely to pursue a financial harvest strategy, which allows the founder to maximize financial gains regardless of the individual involvement with the company.

This study explores the effect of entrepreneurs’ psychological ownership on their exit intentions and different exit strategies.