Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Entrepreneurship and Well-being


This PhD course draws on the most recent insight related to this hot topic in entrepreneurship. While grounded in established theories, it allows students to gain insights into the state of the art.

6–7 Feb & 2–3 April 2020
Course leader: Professor Johan Wiklund, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

Course syllabus & literature

Entry requirements

PhD students accepted to the PhD programme in Business Administration or an adjacent subject are eligible for the course. 

Course content

The course will be structured around main themes in the literature. These include the following:

  • Overview of research on mental well-being in the entrepreneurship setting
  • Eudemonic approaches to well-being in entrepreneurship
  • Hedonic well-being in entrepreneurship
  • Well-being and mental health
  • ADHD and other clinical or aberrant constructs in entrepreneurship
  • Methodological challenges studying well-being in entrepreneurship  

Course design

The course will take place over four days, about two months apart. Day 1 will cover an introduction by the instructors. Following this, each participating student will lead the discussion for a particular topic. These topics are assigned well before the start of the course, based on student preferences to the extent possible. Day 2 will consist of a Hackathon where students present and revise ideas for papers through several intense cycles of iterations. At the end of Day 2, paper ideas are presented and discussed. Well before the remaining session, covering Days 3 and 4, student will submit paper drafts. Days 3 and 4 will consist of a 24 hour paper development Hackathon. Each participating student will be assigned a mentor with whom they interact during these 2 days. The course will end with paper presentations. 

Course background

A new exciting field of scholarship, and an associated group of scholars, is emerging in the intersection of entrepreneurship, mental health, and well-being research. For a long time, firm performance remained the dominating outcome in entrepreneurship research (Shepherd et al., 2019). However, this is changing, and scholars have started to focus on a broader set of entrepreneurship issues (Shepherd, et al., 2019). In particular, mental health and well-being have received recent attention (e.g., Stephan, 2018; Wiklund et al, 2019). In 2012, the United Nations called for a “more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes … the well-being of all people” (UN General Assembly, 2012). Many global leaders suggest placing mental well-being as a fundamental societal goal. This development shows a profound shift in attitude towards socioeconomic progress. National well-being accounts are being called for that can complement traditional economic measures (Kahneman et al., 2004).

Well-being is an integral part of living a fulfilling and flourishing life and is intimately related to people's ability to work, maintain positive relationships, and experience positive emotions (Ryff and Singer, 1998). Entrepreneurship and management scholars are becoming increasingly interested in the causes and consequences of mental health and well-being, which was highlighted by the theme of the recent 2018 Academy of Management Annual Meeting: “Improving Health and Wealth-Being in Society: How Can Organizations Help?” Entrepreneurship offers a particularly interesting context for such research because of the salience of well-being issues. For example, the entrepreneurial process is rife with challenges (Cardon & Patel, 2015). Failure is common and it can be emotionally draining (Shepherd et al., 2009). At the same time, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to self-actualize as they craft their jobs to their own idiosyncratic needs (Wiklund et al., 2018) and thus draw non-pecuniary benefits (Gimeno et al., 1997). Also, entrepreneurship attracts those outside of the norm that may have difficulty finding regular employment, including those with various psychiatric diagnoses (Wiklund et al., 2018a).

This PhD course draws on the most recent insight related to this hot topic in entrepreneurship. While grounded in established theories, it allows students to gain insights into the state of the art.



Doctoral programme coordinator
Charlina Lunvald
Phone: +46 (0)46-222 41 73



If the number of applicants exceeds available places, applicants are prioritised as follows:

  1. PhD students from the Department of Business Administration
  2. PhD students from other departments at LUSEM
  3. External PhD students
Professor Johan Wiklund