Ratio Working Paper No. 324: Working for an entrepreneur: Heaven or Hell?

Abstract: Recruiting employees to an entrepreneurial venture is a challenging task. From the employee’s perspective, accepting a position in an entrepreneurial venture potentially implies considerable uncertainty. This paper provide a literature review and identifies research gaps related to labor mobility of employees into and out of entrepreneurial firms. Who works for an entrepreneur? What are the conditions under which the employees of entrepreneurial firms work? Additionally, labor mobility after an employee works for an entrepreneurial firm is discussed. In conclusion the quality of the jobs generated by entrepreneurial firms may be questionable (and still relatively unexplored in empirical research), but they are nevertheless important from a labor dynamics perspective. Better understanding about motives to work for an entrepreneur, issues related to job security beyond survival rates, and job quality may contribute to ease the recruitment problems that many entrepreneurial firms struggle with. Furthermore, the relevance and potential pros and cons of working for an entrepreneurial firm in future career paths (entrepreneur or employee) needs to be carefully addressed in future research.