Headlines 2016

New study: ADHD, impulsivity and entrepreneurship


On Wednesday Johan Wiklund, Syracuse University, presented the study "ADHD, Impulsivity and Entrepreneurship" at IFN in Stockholm. "Johan Wiklund is one of the world's most successful entrepreneurship scholars", said Niclas Berggren, IFN, when introducing Wiklund who is currently studying if individuals diagnosed with ADHD are less or more prone to become entrepreneurs.

Today 11 % of all US youth have been diagnosed with ADHD. They often have problems to find a job that fits their personality. In his study Wiklund suggests that people with ADHD might become entrepreneurs to design a job that fits him or her. He looks at four separate dimensions of impulsivity – that are frequently manifested in peolple with ADHD. The traits are:

  1. Sensation seeking (positively related to entrepreneurial intentions and start-ups).
  2. Lack of premeditation (positively related to entrepreneurial intentions and business start-ups).
  3. Lack of perseverance (positively related to entrepreneurial intentions and negatively to start-ups)
  4. Urgency (negatively related to entrepreneurial intentions and start-ups)

“ADHD influences all four dimensions of impulsivity”, Johan Wiklund states, adding that there is no direct effect of ADHD on intention and behavior, but indirect effects via impulsivity.

Is entrepreneurship fitting for people with ADHD?

“It is probably more fitting than many other options. Though, individuals with ADHD are not necessarily better entrepreneurs than others”, says Johan Wiklund.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se