Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Dawn R. DeTienne and Karl Wennberg
Chapter 7: The role of retirement intention in entrepreneurial firm exit
A common feature of all entrepreneurs is that they eventually exit the venture. A wide range of personal and organizational factors that influence when and how the entrepreneur exits have been identified (Delmar et al., 2006; Taylor, 1999). A key variable that is largely ignored in exit research is retirement. Yet the entrepreneur’s planning for retirement and ultimate decision to retire would seem to be a major driver of many exits. A sizable body of literature on retirement has developed in recent decades (see Wang and Shultz, 2010). Especially in developed economies, the lowering of birth rates, lengthening of life expectancies, aging of the baby-boom generation, rising costs of health care, and growing number of post-retirement options for seniors have combined to significantly increase the social, political and economic implications of retirement (Reitzes and Mutran, 2004; Shultz and Wang, 2011). In practice, retirement takes multiple forms, involves a number of decisions, and typically involves a process that can extend over a considerable period of time (Ekerdt, 2010; Wang and Shultz, 2010). Further, the decision to retire, which may not be completely voluntary, is influenced by a range of motives, and can produce a mix of often conflicting emotions (Feldman and Beehr, 2011; MacEwen et al., 1995; Nuttman-Shwartz, 2004).
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