I can't get no satisfaction - Necessity entrepreneurship and procedural utility

Joern Block*, Philipp Koellinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We study a unique sample of 1,547 nascent entrepreneurs in Germany and analyze which factors are associated with their self-reported satisfaction regarding their start-up. Our study identifies a new facet of procedural utility and offers new insights about the motivations and goals of nascent entrepreneurs. Most importantly, we identify a group of nascent entrepreneurs that 'cannot get satisfaction' with their start-up-not because their start-up fails to deliver financial returns, but because they did not choose to become entrepreneurs in the first place. This group of unsatisfied entrepreneurs includes individuals starting a business after a period of long-term unemployment and those individuals with a lack of better employment alternatives (necessity entrepreneurs). In addition, we provide additional evidence for the importance of both financial and non-financial incentives of entrepreneurs. While financial success is the most important determinant of start-up satisfaction, achievement of independence and creativity is also highly important. Our results emphasize the relevance of procedural utility for understanding economic behavior. We show that the process leading to a decision has an impact on the later satisfaction with the outcome of that decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-209
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


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