Abstract

There is increasing interest in the relationship between attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) symptoms and entrepreneurship. Initial research suggests that entrepreneurship is attractive to people with ADHD symptoms (Wiklund et al., 2016). It is unclear, however, whether these symptoms are functional in the entrepreneurial setting. In this paper, we hypothesize that ADHD symptoms among entrepreneurs will be linked to greater Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) of the firms they operate. This, in turn, will result in higher performance of their firms. Thus, we suggest that ADHD symptoms are functional in the entrepreneurial setting. We build this on the notion that entrepreneurship is a unique context characterized by high uncertainty. As such, action cannot be based solely on rational analysis but has to be driven by a different logic. Specifically, ADHD symptoms are linked to quick action without deliberation (Barkley, 1997), sensation seeking (Barkley, 1997) and creativity (Coetzer & Trimble, 2009). These characteristics resonate with entrepreneurship generally, and the dimensions of EO (innovativeness, proactiveness and risk taking) specifically. EO has been positively linked to performance in many studies (Rauch et al, 2009).

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