Behavioural aspects of self-employment dynamics -PhD thesis-

Publication type

Thesis/Degree/Other Honours


Publication date

June 1, 2014


Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, the thesis provides
both empirical evidence and theoretical explanations to show the nature,
behaviour, and roles of job satisfaction and personality on
self-employed entrepreneurship survival. The thesis poses three research
questions: Does self-employed job satisfaction adapt? Does job
satisfaction predict the likelihood of survival of self-employed
businesses after start-ups? Does personality play a role in the survival
probability of men and women who manage self-employed enterprises? The
first question hypothesises that the initial boost in job satisfaction
associated with the transition into self-employment is transitory,
dissipating rapidly during the early years of the self-employment
venture. Findings suggest that men who become self-employed enjoy a more
permanent boost in overall job satisfaction, satisfaction with pay and,
to some extent, satisfaction with the nature of the work itself. Women
experience a boost in satisfaction with the nature of the work itself
and to, a lesser extent, a boost in satisfaction with pay. Both of these
effects for women are short-lived, casting doubt on the importance of
job satisfaction, work-schedule flexibility, and work-life balance as
pull factors into self-employment. The second question re-examines the
link between job satisfaction and self-employment survival and argues
that the relationship is not necessarily a contemporaneous one. That is,
job satisfaction at time t is not necessarily the best predictor of
survival/exit at time t, but it is the whole self-employment experience
that matters rather than the last reported satisfaction. The results
show that job satisfaction does not predict the probability of survival.
Rather, the maximum job satisfaction and the peak-end combinations
during the self-employment episode are better predictors of survival.
The last question draws on the robust measures of personality to
forecast the survival chances of men and women-managed enterprises,
paying attention to occupational differences. Findings show that, unlike
previous studies, different personality traits predict men and
women-managed ventures survival chances over time; and that the
likelihood of survival overtime of both men and women-managed
enterprises by occupational categories is dependent on the different
personality traits complementing themselves in different scenarios. The
thesis contributes to the existing literature by offering a novel
behavioural research perspective into the analysis of self-employment




Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only



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