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Different strokes for different folks? The impact of heterogeneity in work characteristics and country contexts on work-life balance among the self-employed

Anne Annink (Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Laura Den Dulk (Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
José Ernesto Amorós (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 5 September 2016

1108

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of self-employed work characteristics (consumer orientation, innovativeness, number of employees, motivation, and entrepreneurial phase) on work-life balance (WLB) satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The job demands and resources approach is applied to test whether self-employed work characteristics are evaluated as job demands or resources for WLB. The Global Entrepreneurship Data (2013) offer a unique opportunity to conduct multilevel analysis among a sample of self-employed workers in 51 countries (N=11,458). Besides work characteristics, this paper tests whether country context might explain variation in WLB among the self-employed.

Findings

The results of this study reveal that there is a negative relation between being exposed to excessive stress and running a consumer-oriented business and WLB. Being motivated out of opportunity is positively related to WLB. In addition, the results indicate that country context matters. A higher human development index and more gender equality are negatively related to WLB, possibly because of higher social expectations and personal responsibility. The ease of doing business in a country was positively related to the WLB of self-employed workers.

Social implications

For some workers self-employment might be a way to combine work and responsibilities in other life domains, but this does not seem to be valid in all cases.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to current literature on the WLB of self-employed workers by showing how work characteristics can be evaluated as job demands or resources. Including work characteristics in future research might be a solution for acknowledging the heterogeneity among self-employed workers.

Keywords

Citation

Annink, A., Den Dulk, L. and Amorós, J.E. (2016), "Different strokes for different folks? The impact of heterogeneity in work characteristics and country contexts on work-life balance among the self-employed", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 880-902. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-04-2016-0127

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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