Juggling or struggling? Work and family interface and its buffers among small business owners

Hieu Nguyen, Sukanlaya Sawang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


This study responds to calls for theory and research on work--family aspects in entrepreneurship research. This study examines the role of work--family conflict, work--family enhancement and social support on small business owners' (SBOs) well-being. Drawing from The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) panel data, the sample is restricted to SBOs, married with children under the age of 14 during 2010--2011 (two waves), totaling 167 SBOs. Results revealed that work--family conflict has a negative direct effect on mental health, job, family and life satisfactions. Similarly, work--family enhancement was found to have a direct positive effect on job, family and life satisfaction but not mental health. A significant interaction term also suggested that work--family enhancement moderated the relationship between work--family conflict and SBOs' job satisfaction. Finally social support was found to have positive main effect on both subjective and psychological well-being. The interventions to well-being of SBOs should aim to balance the work and family lives of SBOs as well as making sure they have adequate social support networks. For public policy makers, support programs should extend from traditional means to balancing work--family matters for this particular occupation. Aside from broadening existing knowledge on the effects of work--family conflict, enhancement and social support, this is one of the first studies to examine well-being as a measure of success for SBOs. Additionally, the use of cross-wave data in the present study helps us to reduce this problem and provide a much stronger causal relationship between the focal variables of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-246
Number of pages40
JournalEntrepreneurship Research Journal
Issue number2
Early online date30 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Small Business Owners, Self-employed, Entrepreneurship, Work-family Interface, Social Support


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