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The Bigger the Better? Business Size and Small-Business Owners’ Subjective Well-Being

Journal article
Authors Filip Fors Connolly
Ingemar Johansson Sevä
Tommy Gärling
Published in Journal of Happiness Studies
ISSN 13894978
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Business size, Emotional well-being, Financial satisfaction, Life satisfaction, Self-employment, Subjective well-being, Time pressure
Subject categories Business Administration, Applied Psychology, Sociology


Business growth is often portrayed as an important outcome for small-business owners. Few empirical studies have however examined whether there is a positive relationship between business size and different dimensions of small-business owners’ subjective well-being. In a large cross-sectional sample (n = 1089) of small-business owners from Sweden, we investigate the relationship between business size and the two main components of subjective well-being, life satisfaction and emotional well-being. By means of structural equation modelling, we determine the importance of business size for subjective well-being by focusing on potential advantages (financial satisfaction) and disadvantages (time pressure) related to business size. The results show that there is no overall relationship between business size and life satisfaction, but a weak negative relationship between business size and emotional well-being. However, in a subsequent mediation analyses we find that these findings largely can be explained by the fact that financial satisfaction and time pressure relate to subjective well-being in opposite directions and thus cancel each other out. The results of the mediation analysis also reveal differences across the two components of subjective well-being. We here find that financial satisfaction is more important for small-business owners’ life satisfaction while time pressure is more important for their emotional well-being.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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