How the solo self-employed mitigate lower income with their personality in order to manifest well-being

  • Johan de Borst

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

How do the world's almost 1 billion 'solos' mitigate lower income with their personality in order to manifest well-being? (Solos are individuals operating non-employer businesses, lower income and classed '˜vulnerably-employed' by the UN - over 75% of UK and US businesses in 2013/14). The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) is utilised in a novel and positivist approach to answering this question in the case of the UK population. Using structural equation modelling (SEM) this thesis simultaneously examines the income, hedonic and eudemonic well-being, and personality of the solo.Well-being is usually measured in terms of hedonic cognitive responses such as life satisfaction, or happiness, or, less frequently, affect. The thesis emphasizes that well-being has, two components, hedonic and eudemonic - where the functional eudemonic can cause 'healthy' hedonic responses. Modern eudaimonia research includes dimensions such as purpose, relationships or autonomy, seen as critical to high functioning, and the latter in particular, to entrepreneurship. Connecting income to eudaimonia, hedonic and traits lead to a model with 6 direct paths and 4 mediation relationships.All models were well fit with SRMR of less than 0.08. Solos were found to have the lowest income, highest affect and happiness compared to the employed and self-employed with employees. Solos were shown to derive the most hedonic and eudaimonic well-being from income compared to other employment types. Income was found to be positively associated with all personality traits. The analysis confirmed the relationship between traits and hedonic well-being. Agreeability and extroversion traits were also found to be positively linked to eudaimonia.Eudaimonia was found to be strongly positively associated with hedonic well-being, and, notably, stronger than both traits and income. The analysis also demonstrated a mediation, not moderation, relationship between income and hedonic well-being and both traits and eudaimonia. Notably, income was shown to be more important than traits or eudaimonia in raising negative affect for those solos who were more conscientious, introverted or disagreeable. Finally, for the positive affect, neuroticism had a large indirect effect, emphasizing that mental health could be more important than income (or even eudaimonia) for raising hedonic well-being for those with neurotic traits.The findings have important implications for the domains of economic well-being and raises questions regarding a solo's place in the domain of entrepreneurship (less than 20 academics have published on the almost 1 billion solos and none on their well-being). Solos and practitioners supporting solos are provided with a mechanism for examining appropriate personality and eudaimonic responses to changes in income and how these can be utilised to raise 'healthy' hedonic well-being.
Date of Award1 Oct 2016
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
Supervisor (Supervisor) (Supervisor)

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