Based on self-determination theory, this study aims to examine the impact of satisfaction of basic psychological needs (BPNs) on the commitment to stay self- or salary-employed. Not only the entry of individuals but also their commitment to remain self-employed is important. Enterprises established by the self-employed can only survive longer if the owners are willing to continue in self-employment.
The study was conducted among a cross-country sample drawn from Germany, Kenya and Uganda. An online survey was conducted among self- and salary-employed individuals in Germany. In Uganda and Kenya, cross-sectional samples were recruited through their workplaces and business forums. These processes yielded 869 responses (373 self-employed and 494 salary-employed). Differences in the impact of BPNs on the commitment to self-employed or salaried-employment across countries were examined using PROCESS macro 2.16.
The findings revealed that the self-employed exhibit higher commitment to their current form of employment than the salary-employed. The satisfaction of needs for autonomy and competence were associated with higher levels of commitment to self-employment than to salary-employment across the three countries. The need for relatedness was also strongly associated with commitment to self-employment much more than to salary-employment for Ugandan and Kenyan participants; but not for the German participants.
Persistence in self-employment is essential not only for individuals to remain employed but also as a pathway to achieving career success. However, research has paid limited attention to persistence in self-employment. This research contributes to the understanding of antecedents for commitment to self-employment across countries, and therefore what should be done to enable particularly young individuals to stay self-employed. Moreover, the study also examines whether these antecedents have similar effects among individuals in salaried-employment.
The authors thank Dr. Peter Onderi, MR. Manuel Menning, Ms. Maureen Agalo Mitch for their support and efforts in the data collection process. The study was supported by a scholarship offered to Dr Martin Baluku by the DAAD (Ref. No. 91525333).
Baluku, M., Balikoowa, R., Bantu, E. and Otto, K. (2020), "Applying self-determination theory to explaining differences in career commitment between self-employed and salaried employees: The role of basic psychological needs", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-05-2019-0051Download as .RIS
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