What are psychosocial risk factors for entrepreneurs to become unfit for work? A qualitative exploration

J. Lek, A. A. Vendrig, F. G. Schaafsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Entrepreneurs may have to deal with different psychosocial risk factors than employees. Understanding relevant psychosocial risk factors for entrepreneurs is important for occupational health practice to develop effective measures to prevent work disability. This knowledge will be used to adjust the Work and Wellbeing Inventory an existing screening tool for employees. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to explore psychosocial risk factors and relevant personality traits to adjust and further develop the Work and Wellbeing Inventory to predict work disability for entrepreneurs. METHODS: In a qualitative explorative study, we interviewed 17 entrepreneurs varying in type of business and demographic background. By semi-structured face-to-face interviews, we explored their experiences with psychosocial risk factors related to entrepreneurship. Transcripts were analyzed by qualitatively coding procedures and constant comparative methods. RESULTS: According to these entrepreneurs financial insecurity, conflict of interest, large responsibility, high number of working hours, managing tasks, and administrative burden were the major themes they had to deal with. Relevant personality traits for successful entrepreneurship were stress resistance, being all round, flexible, a good communicator, good leadership, and being able to set limits. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are relevant for occupational health practice focusing on the wellbeing of entrepreneurs, and will be used to adjust items in the Work and Wellbeing Inventory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Self-employed
  • occupational health practice
  • prevention
  • work and wellbeing inventory
  • work disability

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