Quotation Vandor, Peter, Meyer, Michael. 2021. Burnout among social entrepreneurs – Is the road to hell paved with good intentions? 12. Fachgruppentagung der AOW- und Ingenieurspsychologie 2021, Chemnitz, Deutschland, 22.09-24,09.




The increasing number of entrepreneurs goes along with an enhanced interest for their prevalence, antecedents and consequences of burnout, finding it to be both fairly common and consequential. While research predominantly focused on commercial entrepreneurs, an estimated 20-25% of the entrepreneurial population was bypassed as they are social entrepreneurs. Among social entrepreneurs burnout is particularly consequential as negative effects on the survival of the venture are likely to cascade further to beneficiaries, vulnerable groups. This study aims at understanding the drivers of burnout among social entrepreneurs and further explores whether these differ from burnout antecedence of commercial entrepreneurs. Design: An international sample of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs was studied. Half of them run social businesses while the other half runs commercial enterprises. All entrepreneurs completed questionnaires on their burnout risk, wellbeing, resilience and meaningfulness of work. Additionally, their business models and entrepreneurial ecosystems were analyzed. Results: Social entrepreneurs are shown to be more resilient against burnout given the inherent meaningfulness of their work. However, many challenges of the startup process are more pronounced among social versus commercial entrepreneurs. Importantly, weak business models and comparatively underdeveloped ecosystems increase stress and role overload. Moreover, tensions between financial and social institutional logics contribute to role conflict which then lower individual wellbeing. Implications/Limitations: Despite the cross-sectional nature of the study, it clearly suggests to account for entrepreneurs’ business models and ecosystems when estimating their burnout risk. This is particularly true for socially compared to commercially-oriented entrepreneurs.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Burnout among social entrepreneurs – Is the road to hell paved with good intentions?
Event 12. Fachgruppentagung der AOW- und Ingenieurspsychologie 2021
Year 2021
Date 22.09-24,09
Country Germany
Location Chemnitz
URL https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/aow2021/index.html


Vandor, Peter (Details)
Meyer, Michael (Details)
Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship WE (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2943 Research and innovation management (Details)
5350 Innovation research (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
5405 Empirical social research (Details)
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