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.
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.
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.
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.

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Annink, A., den Dulk, L., & 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 Behaviour & Research, 22(6). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/94359