Motive-goal congruence and entrepreneur well-being during early-stage fundraising: A longitudinal study using text analysis

Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

First Advisor

Lisa Gundry

Second Advisor

William Martin

Third Advisor

Tawei Wang


Entrepreneur emotions have been reported recently as a common contributor to

startup failures. Given the early-stage fundraising process is a particularly precarious

time in a new venture’s life cycle, the present study contributes to the current

understanding of how an entrepreneur’s implicit motives (his or her level of agency

and communion) and the complexity of the funding process (deal complexity) may

affect an entrepreneur’s well-being (positive and negative affect). The study examined

entrepreneur well-being using computer-aided text analysis of entrepreneurs’ extemporaneous

Twitter updates as the entrepreneurs proceeded through four fundraising

stages over a one-year period. The study found differences in how agentic and communal

entrepreneurs’ well-being fluctuated during the fundraising process. Specifically,

communal entrepreneurs experienced a decrease in well-being in the period prior to

completing fundraising. In addition, the study found support for deal complexity

(as measured by number of investors, funding amount, and geographical dispersion

of the investors) as a moderator of the implicit motive and well-being relationship.

Specifically, as deal complexity increased, high agency entrepreneurs experienced

decreased well-being in the period prior to completing fundraising, as compared to

low agency entrepreneurs. Discussion of the results as it advances the literature on

the fluctuating well-being of entrepreneurs is provided.

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