Understanding business owners' challenge and hindrance appraisals

Jacqueline M. Jumelet, Marjan J. Gorgievski, Arnold B. Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim is to expand the challenge-hindrance framework and develop a coherent theoretical framework that explains individual differences in the way small business owners appraise their job demands. Literature has shown that dealing effectively with job demands leads to competitive advantage and depends on individual appraisals. Design/methodology/approach: For this qualitative study, 20 in-depth interviews were analyzed using a partially grounded theory approach. Findings: Open and axial coding revealed a broader range of demands than have hitherto been studied, related to actions rather than job characteristics. Selective coding confirmed expectations based on the Conservation of Resources Theory that appraisals of demands differ between business owners and change over time depending on role identities, and material, social, personal and energy resource levels, via the valence (identities) and degree of anticipated outcomes. Business owners appraised certain demands as challenging when they were co-occurring with other demands usually categorized as challenges, whereas these same demands were appraised as hindering when co-occurring with demands usually categorized as hindrances. Research limitations/implications: The results imply that appraisals can be influenced by societal context, life events, processes of formal and informal learning, personal growth and aging. These topics would be interesting avenues for future research. Originality/value: The results of this study challenge our understanding of job demands in general and current categorizations of job demands as challenges versus hindrances in specific, by providing an in-depth, contextualized and dynamic view of the appraisal of demands related to owning and running a business.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-424
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Challenge-hindrance framework
  • Conservation of resources theory
  • Job demands
  • Small business owners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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