PhD Defence Plato Leung

In his dissertation 'The Mind with a Touch of Madness? Mental Health and Well-being Of Entrepreneurs', Plato Leung developed an insight into the mental health of entrepreneurs. He evaluated the psychiatric symptoms of entrepreneurs throughout their career suggesting key personality and psychiatry traits of the entrepreneur. His research pierces into an emerging field of study and opens up questions for further research regarding the well-being, upbringing, and emotional capacity of modern entrepreneurs. Plato successfully defended his dissertation on Thursday, 17 November 2022. His supervisors were Prof. Roy Thurik (ESE), and Prof. Ingmar Franken (ESSB). The members of his doctoral committee were Prof. Han Bleichrodt (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Patrick Groenen (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Dr. Marjan Gorgievski (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Joern Block (University of Trier), Dr. Jinia Mukerjee (Montpellier Business School)

About Plato Leung

Yik Kiu (Plato) Leung was born and raised in Hong Kong, China. He holds a B.Sc. in Psychology with first class honors from the City University of Hong Kong. Afterwards, he received his M.Sc. in Organizational Psychology cum laude at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. In 2015, he started his PhD trajectory in Entrepreneurship under the promotion of A. Roy Thuik and Ingmar H. A. Franken. He conducts his research within the Erasmus Research Institute in Management (ERIM) and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). He is also a member of the Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute for Biology and Economic Behavior (EURIBEB).
Yik Kiu’s research lies on the intersection of psychology and entrepreneurship. Specifically, he seeks to understand the role of sub-clinical psychiatric symptoms in entrepreneurship and the well-being of entrepreneurs. His work has been presented in various conferences in the field of management and psychology, such as the Annual meeting of the Academy of Management and the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology Congress. His work has also been published in the Journal of Small Business Management and the Journal of Business Venturing Insights. During his PhD, he has the opportunity to go on a short research visit at the Montpellier Business School and Trier University. He is currently working as an assistant professor of digital entrepreneurship at the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) and the Tilburg University.

Thesis Abstract

The topic of mental health has attracted much attention from practitioners and policymakers in the last few decades. Despite growing attention to mental health, research on the link between mental health and entrepreneurs is still in its infancy. Given the well-known contributions of entrepreneurship in today’s society, the implication of entrepreneurship on individual and societal well-being looms large and warrants further attention.

In this dissertation, I seek to advance the current understanding of two research questions: 1) the link between psychiatric symptoms and entrepreneurship and 2) the link between subjective well-being and entrepreneurship

For research question 1, Chapters 2 and 3 show that a sub-clinical level of psychiatric symptoms (e.g., narcissism, hyperactivity) is related to various aspects of entrepreneurship, especially in the early stage of the entrepreneurial process.

For research question 2, Chapter 4 suggests that while emotional family support contributes to the well-being of entrepreneurs, instrumental family support hinders the well-being of entrepreneurs. Using a novel approach, Chapter 5 shows that entrepreneurs are less happy, but also more calm and less anxious after their businesses failed.

By combining knowledge from psychology and economics, this dissertation contributes to this emerging field of research in entrepreneurship by shedding light on the relationship between sub-clinical psychiatric symptoms, well-being, and entrepreneurship.

View Photos of Plato's PhD Defence Here

Photos: Michelle Muus / Michelle Muus Fotografie