Leading Researcher Focuses on Entrepreneurship and Mental Health

Johan Wiklund, the Al Berg Endowed Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University‘s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, has been studying entrepreneurship as it relates to mental health and well-being. He recently completed his appointment as a Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia where he conducted a study about entrepreneurship, self-care and well-being.

“Entrepreneurship can be very demanding and stressful, and it is easy to overlook self-care such as exercise, meditation, healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep,” said Wiklund. “Self-care is particularly valuable for those that are psychologically vulnerable, such as those with mental disorders. At the same time, however, they are actually less likely to engage in positive self-care and more likely to instead turn to things such as drugs and alcohol to deal with stress and pressure. This all has implications for their wellbeing, their functioning within their companies and ultimately performance. This is the essence of my research.”

The first research of its kind in Australia, Wiklund said it was well received in the entrepreneurship community. He currently is analyzing the initial data from the more than 1,200 entrepreneurs who took his survey and is considering replicating the study in other countries and expanding on data collection. His next goal? Establish at the Whitman School the first research center of its kind devoted to entrepreneurship and well-being.

Recognized as a leading scholar, Wiklund has extended his editorial reach both through his first year as editor-in-chief of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, as well as continuing to edit special issues for journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing and Academy of Management Perspectives.

For Wiklund, who also serves on the editorial boards of other top journals in the field and is considered a leading authority in entrepreneurship research, assuming the role of editor-in-chief is a natural next step.

So far, he has substantially extended the editorial team to achieve breadth in terms of methodological competencies, gender and geographical reach of action editors. He has also standardized many processes to ensure quality control and improve turnaround time, and introduced special issues and virtual special issues focused on current themes, such as entrepreneurship and biology, the sharing economy and new financial solutions for entrepreneurs.

What’s more, Wiklund is working on a workshop, entitled “The Future of Conducting and Publishing Research in Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management and Strategy Paper Development Workshop for Early-Career Scholars.” The workshop, to be held in May, is for current and future thought leaders, including editors from 15 top journals in strategy, innovation management and entrepreneurship, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Review, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Family Business Review, Innovation – Organization & Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Studies; Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Technology Transfer; Management Science; Organization Science; Research Policy; Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal; and Strategic Management Journal. The Bologna Business School at the University of Bologna, Italy, will host the workshop.