Social Well-being of Entrepreneurs and Employees in Small Business

Social Well-being of Entrepreneurs and Employees in Small Business

Soboleva I.V.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Head of Centre for Employment Policy and Labor Relations, Institute of Economics Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article: 7615

For citation:

Soboleva I.V. Social Well-being of Entrepreneurs and Employees in Small Business. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 4. P. 57-69


Based upon the survey of population engaged in small business undertaken in Moscow, the paper looks into interrelationship of components of social well-being of working people with different employment status. The explored components include general satisfaction with life, job satisfaction profile, stability of employment, and material situation of respondents. It is demonstrated that even in case of precarious contract employee status guaranties higher perception of employment security as compared to entrepreneurs. However, satisfaction with life is more connected with material situation of respondents than with characteristics of their job, and perception of stability in the sphere of employment matters least of all. Two divisions characterize well-being profile of population engaged in small business. The first singles out the area of relative prosperity encompassing working employers and employees with a regular official employment contract. Those two categories have very similar job satisfaction profiles and fare better as compared to own-account workers and employees with precarious contracts. However, when it comes to overall satisfaction with life, employers outsmart employees with a regular contract as well. The second division separates employees from entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, no matter employers or own-account workers, their feeling of employment insecurity is stronger and interrelation between perceptions of various aspects of their job and overall job satisfaction on the one hand, and overall life satisfaction on the other is higher than for employees irrespective of contract type. It indicates greater involvement of the former in the world of work. The most vulnerable employment status category with the highest share of dissatisfied with their life encompasses employees with a non-standard contract. They form a marginal labour market segment characterized by a very weak interdependence of their social well-being and their current and anticipated situation in the world of work.

precarious employment; social well-being; life satisfaction; job satisfaction; employment status; small business


Allin P., Hand D.J. (2017) New Statistics for Old? Measuring the Wellbeing of the UK. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. No. 1(180): 3–43.

Andrews F.M., Withey S.B. (1976) Social Indicators of Well-being. New York: Plenum Press.

Barazzetta M. (2015) The Asymmetric Effect of Expectations on Subjective Well-being. Working Paper 374. ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

Barley S., Kunda G. (2004) Gurus, Hired Guns and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in a Knowledge Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Beaumont J. (2011) Measuring National Well-being. A Discussion Paper on Domains and Measures. Newport: Office for National Statistics.

Bessokirnaya G.P. (2008) Social Well-being of Workers. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 3: 34–37. (In Russ.)

Bobkov V.N. (ed.) (2017) Precarity of Employment: Global and Russian Contexts of the Future of Work. Moscow: RealPrint. (In Russ.)

Calaguas G. M. (2017) Satisfied and Happy: Establishing Link between Job Satisfaction and Subjective Well-being. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research. No. 1(5): 104–111.

Dickerson A., Green F. (2012) Fears and Realisations of Employment Insecurity. Labour Economics. No. 19(2): 198–210.

Diener E. (2000) Subjective Well-being: the Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index. American Psychologist. No. 55: 34–43.

Heller D., Watson D., Hies R. (2004) The Role of Person versus Situation in Life Satisfaction: A Critical Examination. Psychological Bulletin. No. 130(4): 574–600.

Hsieh C. (2016) Domain Importance in Subjective Well-being measures. Social Indicators Research. No. 127(2): 777–792.

ILO (2016) Key Indicators of the Labour Market. 9th ed. Geneva: International Labour Office.

Kovaleva N.G. (2001) Aged People: Social Well-being. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 7: 73–79. (In Russ.)

Коzina I.М., Zanghieva I.К. (2016) Labor Protection and Job Satisfaction in Small Businesses. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No.7: 19–29. (In Russ.)

Kozyreva P.M. (2015) Small Business in Russia: Everyday Issues and Development Constraints. Ekonomicheskie i sotsial'nye peremeny: fakty, tendentsii, prognoz [Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast]. No. 1(37): 43–58. (In Russ.)

Kuchenkova A. (2016) Social Self-perception and Subjective Well-being. A Review of Definitions and Measurement Models. RSUH/RGGU BULLETIN. Series Philosophy. Social Studies. Art Studies. No. 2: 118–127. (In Russ.)

Latova N.V. (2017) Dynamics and Factors of Life Satisfaction of Russians (1997–2017). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 12: 65–78.

Leung A.S.M., Cheung Y.H., Xiangyang L. (2011) The Relations between Life Domain Satisfaction and Subjective Well-being. Journal of Managerial Psychology. No. 26(2): 155–169.

Lomranz J., Eyal N., Shmotkin D. (1990) Subjective Well-being and Its Domains across Different Age Groups: An Israeli Sample. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. No. 2(2): 181–190.

Oman S. (2016) Measuring National Wellbeing: What Matters to You? What Matters to Whom? In: White S.C., Blackmore C. (eds) Cultures of Wellbeing. London: Palgrave Macmillan: 66–94.

Petrova L.E. (2000) Social Well-being of Youth. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 12: 50–55 (In Russ.)

Pink D.H. (2001) Free Agent Nation: How America's Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live. New York: Warner Books.

Praag B.M.S., van, Frijters P., Ferreri-Carbonell A. (2003) The Anatomy of Subjective Well-being. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. No. 51: 29–49.

Rogozin D. (2007) Social Well-Being Questions Testing. Socialnaya realnost’ [Social Reality]. No. 2: 97–113.

Schimmack U., Diener E., Oishi S. (2002) Life-satisfaction Is a Momentary Judgment and a Stable Personality Characteristic: the Use of Chronically Accessible and Stable Sources. Journal of Personality. No. 70(3): 345–384.

Soboleva I.V. (2017) Opportunities for Human Capital Accumulation in the Small Business Sector Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 4: 60–72 (In Russ.)

Soboleva I.V. (ed.) (2016) Socio-economic Security of Population Employed in Small Business. Moscow: OOO “EsPeHa”. (In Russ.)

Strebkov D., Shevchuk A. (2015) Work Trajectories of Self-employed Professionals. Mir Rossii [Universe of Russia]. No. 24(1): 72–100 (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. (2015) Precariat – a New Social Class. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 6: 3–13. (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. (2018) The Precariat: from Protoclassic to the New Class. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Valenduc G., Vendramin P. (2016) Work in the Digital Economy: Sorting the Old from the New. Brussels: ETUI Printshop.

Content No 4, 2019