Publication Date

Summer 2003


Recent research on entrepreneurship has focused largely on macro-level environmental forces. Although researchers adopting this focus have rightly criticized much of the existing empirical research on the role of human motivation in entrepreneurship, we believe that the development of entrepreneurship theory requires consideration of the motivations of people making entrepreneurial decisions. To provide a road map for researchers interested in this area, we discuss the major motivations that prior researchers have suggested should influence the entrepreneurial process, as well as suggest some motivations that are less commonly studied in this area. In addition to outlining the major reasons for exploring these motivations, we identify the major weaknesses that have limited the predictive power of previous research on this topic. We offer explicit solutions for future research to adopt to overcome these problems.


Suggested Citation
Shane, S., Locke, E. A., & Collins, C. J. (2012). Entrepreneurial motivation [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
© Elsevier. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Shane, S., Locke, E. A., & Collins, C. J. (2012). Entrepreneurial motivation. Human Resource Management Review, 13(2), 257-279.