Graduate School of Business
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Learning Disability, Entrepreneurial Calling, Resilience, Personality Traits, Risk-taking and Mitigation
Stemple, Christopher James, "Learning Disability as an Influence on Entrepreneurial Calling and Success" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2534.
The phenomena identified as the relationship between learning disabilities, entrepreneurial calling, and entrepreneurial success or failure is a timely and relevant topic that necessitated exploration. To build upon this research, this qualitative case study was conducted. The goal of this case study research is to understand how learning disabilities affect the success or failure of entrepreneurs, while also exploring how the entrepreneur was called to be an entrepreneur. The first theme identified in this research study was individual entrepreneurial resilience. Entrepreneurial resilience, hardiness, and optimism were commonly found personality traits amongst research study participants. The second theme to emerge from this study is that individual characteristics, traits, and symptoms of those afflicted with learning disabilities have consequences and advantages. Some of the specific personal characteristics appear to be caused by the disability condition, whereas other personality traits arise due to the individual’s ability to adapt to challenging situations. The descriptors of adaptation, compensation, flexibility, and delegation were found to be a commonality among the majority of research participants, In contrast, many participants spoke directly about their originality, positive affect, innovativeness, ability to multi-task, a propensity for risk-taking, an inclination towards creative thinking, and high energy. The third theme to arise from this research study involves the manner in which how those approach risk and risk mitigation with learning disabilities. Participants noted that elements of risk and hard work are behind almost every great success. However, many entrepreneurs worked very hard to minimize and diminish risk. The fourth and final theme to develop from this study surrounded the way that the learning-disabled entrepreneur found entrepreneurship. Many of the participants felt that entrepreneurship was truly a calling rather than a job and could identify an exact moment when they felt they became an entrepreneur.