Abstract

Entrepreneurs experience job stress due to their responsibility for employee welfare, survival and economic success of the venture, etc. (Hornaday & Aboud, 1987). Therefore, it is not surprising entrepreneurs experience more job stress than managers (Buttner, 1992). A substantial body of research has addressed job stress. However, only limited research has addressed entrepreneurs’ job stress; nearly all studies have been based on role theory (Wincent & Ortqvist, 2009). Despite this, results are not consistent across studies. One alternative is use job design theory, specifically job characteristics theory, in explaining entrepreneurs’ job stress. Fundamentally, job characteristic theory posits core job characteristics influence job-related outcomes (e.g., job stress; Kulik et al., 1987). Thus, the primary purpose of this study is to examine the effect of four core job characteristics-- autonomy, task variety, task identity, and feedback--on entrepreneurs’ job stress. Research shows important differences exist between novice and repeat entrepreneurs (e.g., Baron & Ensley, 2006). A second purpose of this study is to examine whether the job characteristics impact novice and repeat entrepreneurs’ job stress differently.

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