Firm performance is typically measured via objective financial indicators. However, researchers increasingly acknowledge that entrepreneurs do not measure their success solely in financial terms but that a range of often subjective indicators matter to them. This article contributes to the debate on entrepreneurial performance by studying how entrepreneurs assess their achieved success. ‘Entrepreneurs’ achieved success’ was conceptualized as a multi-faceted construct that includes entrepreneurs’ self-reported achievement of firm performance, workplace relationships, personal fulfilment, community impact, and personal financial rewards. It was measured via the Subjective Entrepreneurial Success–Achievement Scale (SES-AS). Over the course of three studies (N = 390) the factorial structure of ‘entrepreneurs’ achieved success’ was established and largely replicated in two cultures. Based on a nomological network, we documented relationships among ‘entrepreneurs’ achieved success’, quasi-objective indicators of firm performance, and entrepreneurs’ financial satisfaction, creativity, and health. Based on our research, we propose a new conceptual framework to study performance in the context of entrepreneurship. This framework acknowledges both the success criteria that entrepreneurs wish to achieve and those that they actually achieve, and extends our understanding of firm performance.

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International entrepreneurship and management journal
Department of Psychology

Wach, D. (Dominika), Stephan, U., Gorgievski, M., & Wegge, J. (2018). Entrepreneurs’ achieved success: developing a multi-faceted measure. International entrepreneurship and management journal. doi:10.1007/s11365-018-0532-5