Psychological well-being of small enterprise employees: a multi-theoretical perspective
John, C. Munene
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Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to suggest a multi-theoretical explanation using a success story to explain psychological well-being (PWB) among employees of K.C, a small enterprise found in Uganda, a developing country in Africa. Design/methodology/approach – The study used qualitative methodology. Based on in-depth interviews with K.C employees, a story was developed describing the practical experience, focusing on the context, actions, results and lessons learnt. Regarding the sample size, the saturation point was attained on the seventh participant. Findings – Findings reveal that employees that possess psychological capital set targets and generate avenues that allow them to achieve set goals, with personal initiative that makes them proactive to accomplish work tasks and individual adaptability that enables them to adjust their emotions and behavior to fit in a complex working environment, which makes them to think, feel and act positively. Furthermore, several theories, including broaden and build, personal initiative and complex adaptive systems theory, explain the manifestations of PWB of employees in small enterprises. Research limitations/implications – The study was limited by focusing on the context of a small enterprise. Future research may investigate other study contexts whose findings might be different. In addition, the study being hypothetical lacked statistical testing. It would be a meaningful effort if future studies statistically tested the suggested model. Irrespective of the limitations, the findings of this study remain significant. Practical implications – In practice, employees may replicate these findings to nurture PWB which eventually contributes to enterprises’ success. This could provide answers to the psychological challenges experienced by employees of small enterprises, especially in the African developing countries like Uganda where this is a major challenge. Specifically, the workers of K.C enterprise may depend on their PWB to deal with workplace challenges and sustain the enterprise’s performance. Social implications – Socially, there is need to embrace positive social relationships among employees at the work place which will translate into well-being of society. Originality/value – This paper is exceptional because it uses a success story showing practical experiences of how PWB of employees in small enterprises is nurtured in Uganda. In addition, a multi- theoretical perspective is used to explain the manifestations in the story, which is the greatest contribution of this paper. Further, a conceptual model is still proposed, depicting psychological capital, personal initiative and individual adaptability as antecedents of PWB.