Murnieks C, Klotz A, & Shepherd D. Entrepreneurial Motivation: A Review of the Literature and Agenda for Future Research. Journal of Organizational Behavior. 2019.

Given the substantial impact that new ventures have on the global economy, understanding what motivates entrepreneurs is of both practical and theoretical importance. While research on the nature, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial motivation has grown rapidly, it has evolved in distinct theoretical silos that tend to isolate motives based on the phase of business development (e.g., initiation, growth, exit) rather than acknowledge that individuals often traverse all these phases and experience multiple types of motivation throughout their entrepreneurial journey. To advance the study of motivation in the fields of entrepreneurship and organizational behavior, and provide a means through which these advancements can contribute to our understanding of how motivation drives the startup, growth, and exiting of businesses, we organize and review the extant literature on entrepreneurial motives based on the phases of the new venture process. In doing so, this article develops a roadmap of the current state of entrepreneurial motivation research and its nomological network and provides suggestions to guide future research in extending our understanding of motivation in the entrepreneurship domain, as well as in traditional organizational settings.