Title

Attention deficit/hyperactive disorder as an entrepreneurial “marker” among family business members: A social learning perspective

Date of this Version

1-1-2012

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Hayek, M., Harvey, M. (2012) Attention deficit/hyperactive disorder as an entrepreneurial “marker” among family business members: A social learning perspective, Journal of Family Business Management, 2(1), 6 – 22. ISSN: 2043-6238

Access the journal

2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 150304

© Copyright Emerald Group Publishing

ISSN

2043-6238

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain why individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) gravitate towards and excel in highly dynamic environments such as those encountered by family business owners.

Design/methodology/approach – This conceptual paper draws on extant literature to establish parallels between the executive functions of individuals with AD/HD and entrepreneurial cognition. The authors use previous theoretical and empirical research to suggest that the use of intuition in the decision-making process may explain the link between individuals with AD/HD and entrepreneurs.

Findings – Family members with AD/HD suffer from diminished executive functions that force them to make decisions and act upon information that would be insufficient for the non-entrepreneur in the family.

Research limitations/implications – The paper presents evidence suggesting a link between executive functions and intuitive decision making in the family business context, however, empirical research is now warranted to advance this line of research.

Practical implications – Establishing the relationship between AD/HD and entrepreneurship may lead family business leaders to identify and integrate family members with AD/HD in to the family firm.

Originality/value – The contribution of this paper is to explain, based on bounded rationality, why individuals with AD/HD gravitate to entrepreneurship.

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This document has been peer reviewed.