Book chapter: Neurodiversity in Entrepreneurship

When:  Aug 31, 2023 from 09:00 to 23:59 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

Neurodiversity in Entrepreneurship
Volume 24 of Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth

Manuscripts Due: August 31, 2023

Editors: Lou Marino, The University of Alabama, Andrew C. Corbett, Babson College, and Dan Lerner, IE University

Anecdotal evidence suggests that entrepreneurship is a context in which individuals who see the world differently can drive innovation and invention in ways that enhance the public good and create wealth.

Recent research in the field of entrepreneurship indicates that in some circumstances, entrepreneurship may indeed be a context in which the unique skills and characteristics of neurodiverse individuals fit with demands in the external environment (Wiklund et al., 2016, 2017; Lerner et al., 2018a). For example, Wiklund et al. 2016 and 2017 found that aspects of ADHD, including hyperactivity, can be positively associated with entrepreneurship, especially in highly dynamic and uncertain environments. Further, Lerner et al 2019 establish a positive association between clinically diagnosed ADHD, entrepreneurial intentions, and entrepreneurial action. However, scholars in this domain recognize that the relationship between neurodiversity and entrepreneurial activity is complex (Hunt et al., 2022; Lerner et al., 2018b), and there are a variety of nuanced relationships that need further examination.

The term neurodiversity was coined in the 1990s by Australian sociologist Judy Singer who initially used the term to apply exclusively to autistic individuals. Since that time, the term has expanded to include a variety of conditions that cause the brains of neurodivergent individuals to function differently than neurotypical individuals, including autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, and other learning and developmental disabilities.

Researchers have embraced the concept of entrepreneurship as a context in which neurodivergent individuals can create a situation that enables them to benefit from their unique perspective. Many entrepreneurship scholars doing work in this area build on the foundational work of Verheul et al. 2015, Wiklund et al 2016, and Wiklund et al 2017 by examining the role of neurodiversity and entrepreneurship through a person-environment (P-E) fit theory lens. This perspective focuses on the antecedents and outcomes of alignment between an individual and their work environment. Expanding on this premise Tucker et al 2021 argue that while some aspects of neurodiversity may enhance an entrepreneur's fit with their environment, other aspects may be a detriment to the successful founding and growth of a new venture. Similarly, Moore et al 2021 advocate for examining how neurobiological differences impact entrepreneurial cognitions as well as the behaviors of entrepreneurs (Moore et al. 2021).

In addition to calls for employing additional theoretical perspectives to better understand the impact of neurodiversity on entrepreneurship, research is lacking on the relationship between entrepreneurship and other types of neurodiversity such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further, as new tools are developed in psychology and psychiatry to measure and understand neurodiversity, the application of these tools in the entrepreneurship literature is lacking (Fisch, et al 2021).

Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth provides an annual examination of the current research, theoretical, and methodological efforts in the field of entrepreneurship and its related disciplines. Volume 24 of AEFEG will focus on expanding our knowledge about the role and impact of neurodiversity in entrepreneurship. Both theoretical and empirical manuscripts that consider essential aspects of neurodiversity in entrepreneurship will be considered. Empirical studies are encouraged. Some broad questions of interest are noted in the preceding paragraph. Additionally, a representative, but by no means exhaustive, the listing of relevant questions includes, but is not limited to:

• What are the manifestations of neurodiversity in entrepreneurship?
• What is the impact of neurodiversity on factors such as entrepreneurial alertness, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, opportunity recognition or creation, and the transition from entrepreneurial intentions to action?
• Beyond what is already theorized, under what conditions can neurodiversity be an advantage and disadvantage for an entrepreneur? Specifically, where/when/how does it affect entrepreneurial tasks, activities, or venturing itself?
• What is the impact of various co-morbidities on entrepreneurial outcomes?
• What support mechanisms can be employed to help neural diverse entrepreneurs succeed?
• Which types of neurodiversity are the most likely to be observed in entrepreneurs?
• How does neurodiversity impact team formation, leadership, and dynamics on a new venture team?
• Is there a balance of neurodiverse types that can promote or inhibit founding team and new venture success?
• How do different types of neurodiversity similarly and differentially impact the various stages of new venture founding and growth?
• What types of new ventures are best suited for neurodiverse entrepreneurs?
• What are the boundary conditions and key moderators to extant findings on neurodiversity and entrepreneurship?
• How can the consideration of neurodiversity advance entrepreneurship education, incubation, or policy? What do effective programs or interventions look like?

Note: given the wide-ranging usage of the term neurodiversity and the wide-ranging conditions that can fall under the umbrella, manuscripts should make explicit their use of the term (presumably citing and following an established definition). Relatedly manuscripts should clearly identify whether they are examining a full-fledged or clinically diagnosed condition or sub-clinical symptoms, particularly if focused on clinical (diagnosable) constructs.

Again, this is only a partial list of potential issues to be examined. All rigorous studies that examine any current topic of interest within the broad field of neurodiversity and entrepreneurship, as well as entrepreneurship scholarship and education, will be considered. Potential authors are encouraged to reach out to any of the editors with questions regarding their work.

The papers in Advances reflect many state-of-the-art topics and approaches and are written by leading researchers in the field, making each volume an important source of information for virtually all entrepreneurship researchers. One of the distinctive competencies of research volumes such as Advances is that the chapters can be longer than journal articles allowing for greater detail in the background, development, and implementation of ideas than is possible in most journals. This allows authors to fully express their key ideas, provide much more complete support, and include relevant multi-page appendices. In effect, the Advances series allows authors to publish an "article of record" of their major theoretical or empirical ideas and see it disseminated to a wide audience. We hope you will identify a contribution to submit for consideration.

Today, the series is in the libraries of virtually all of the schools with active Ph.D. programs in
entrepreneurship, as well as the majority of AACSB-accredited schools with MBA concentrations in entrepreneurship and related fields.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss paper ideas with interested researchers. Please contact the editors: Lou Marino,, Andrew Corbett,, or Dan Lerner,

Papers should be submitted to Lou Marino and Andrew Corbett (; no later than August 31, 2023.

Fisch, C., Franken, I. H., & Thurik, R. (2021). Are behavioral and electrophysiological measures of impulsivity useful for predicting entrepreneurship?. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 16, e00253.
Hunt, R. A., Lerner, D. A., Johnson, S. L., Badal, S., & Freeman, M. A. (2022). Cracks in the wall:
Entrepreneurial action theory and the weakening presumption of intended rationality. Journal of
Business Venturing, 37(3), 106190.
Lerner, D. A., Verheul, I., & Thurik, R. (2019). Entrepreneurship and attention deficit/hyperactivity
disorder: a large-scale study involving the clinical condition of ADHD. Small Business Economics, 53(2), 381-392.
Lerner, D., Hunt, R., & Dimov, D. (2018a). Action! Moving Beyond the Intendedly-Rational Logics of Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 33(1), 52-69.
Lerner, D., Hunt, R., & Verheul, I. (2018b). Dueling Banjos: Harmony and Discord between ADHD and Entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Perspectives, 32(2), 266–286.
Moore, C. B., McIntyre, N. H., & Lanivich, S. E. (2021). ADHD-related neurodiversity and the entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45(1), 64-91.
Tucker, R., Zuo, L., Marino, LD., Lowman, GH., & Sleptsov, A. (2021). ADHD and entrepreneurship: Beyond person-entrepreneurship fit. Journal of Business Venturing Insights 15: e00219.
Verheul, I., Block, J., Burmeister-Lamp, K., Thurik, R., Tiemeier, H., & Turturea, R. (2015). ADHD-like behavior and entrepreneurial intentions. Small Business Economics, 45(1), 85-101.
Wiklund, J., Patzelt, H., & Dimov, D. (2016). Entrepreneurship and psychological disorders: How ADHD can be productively harnessed. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 6, 14-20.
Wiklund, J., Yu, W., Tucker, R., & Marino, LD. (2017). ADHD, impulsivity and entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing 32 (6), 627-656