Achieving Peak Performance
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Cary L. Cooper and Ronald J. Burke
Chapter 12: Entrepreneurial Satisfaction: Job Stressors, Coping and Well-being Among Small Business Owner Managers
Magnus George and Eleanor Hamilton INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to consider how job stressors, coping and well-being are relevant to the small business context, and to identify what is known about how they interact to contribute to performance. It is, to a large extent, taken for granted that the entrepreneurial activity associated with running a small business brings with it exposure to psychological pressure and stress. Nonetheless, there are few studies on the occurrence, prevalence or impact of entrepreneurial role stress (Buttner, 1992; Wincent & Ortqvist, 2009, p. 118). This is in marked contrast to the extensive literature addressing organizational stress. Beyond management studies, large and growing bodies of literature from psychology, sociology, medicine, psychotherapy and other fields have considered a multitude of facets of job stressors, coping and well-being. This chapter draws on these concepts in an attempt to better understand small business behaviour and performance. To achieve that, we address how entrepreneurship differs from other organizational, occupational or workplace settings in regard to stress, health and well-being interactions. We consider features of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and “job” that amplify stressors, increase susceptibility to these, contribute positively or negatively to coping, or that bolster resilience to stress. The lenses of stress and well-being provide a new way of considering the impact of entrepreneurial behaviours. There is much complexity and ambiguity in the use of the terms stressors, coping and well-being, and we do not attempt here to rehearse a comprehensive review of the current understanding of these...
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