Purpose: The ideal-typical entrepreneur presents him/herself in the neoliberal iconography as an autonomous and pro-active individual who is highly engaged with his/her vocation. Nevertheless, empirical research on the actual work engagement of the self-employed is scarce. In addition, phenomena like ‘necessity self-employment’ and ‘economically dependent self-employment’ raise concerns about the potential eudaimonic well-being outcomes of these self-employed. In this study, it was therefore investigated to what extent necessity self-employment and economically dependent self-employment are associated to work engagement and whether this relation is mediated by intrinsic job resources.
Design/ methodology/ approach: The authors used data from the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) involving 5 463 solo self-employed participants. For analyzing the data, structural equation modeling (SEM) with the Lavaan package was used.
Findings: Both necessity self-employment and economically dependent self-employment were linked to poor work engagement, however, intrinsic job resources mediated both effects.
Originality: While previous studies have shown differences in hedonic well-being between opportunity/necessity entrepreneurs, and economically (in)dependent entrepreneurs, this study considers their distinct profiles regarding eudaimonic well-being. Eudaimonic well-being was deemed particularly relevant because of its implications for other outcomes such as life satisfaction, psychological well-being, ill-health, business performance and persistence in self-employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-153
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2022


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