Satisfaction of basic psychological needs and European entrepreneurs’ well-being and health: The association with job satisfaction and entrepreneurial motivation



We examine an integrative model associating entrepreneurial motivation and job satisfaction with basic psychological needs satisfaction and the psychological well-being (PWB) and health problems of European entrepreneurs. In contrast with previous literature that focuses mainly on hedonic well-being, this study examines well-being by using a eudaimonic perspective and the link between entrepreneurial motivation and entrepreneurs’ PWB.


Based on the self-determination theory (SDT) and using structural equation modeling, this study examines a European representative sample composed of 7,878 entrepreneurs from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (6th EWCS; Eurofound [2015] database).


This study finds a positive relationship between the satisfaction of the need for autonomy and competence and opportunity motivation, which in turn is positively associated with job satisfaction. This study also finds that need satisfaction is positively associated with entrepreneurs’ PWB and job satisfaction, which in turn is positively associated with entrepreneurs’ PWB and health. Results highlight the relevance of SDT, opportunity motivation, and job satisfaction to understanding entrepreneurs’ PWB and health.


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first integrative model relating satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy and competence) and diverse individual outcomes related to work (job satisfaction, PWB, and health) of European entrepreneurs by considering entrepreneurial motivation. This study examines a large and representative European sample, in contrast with previous research focusing on the Anglosphere nations.

Keywords: Entrepreneurs' health, Entrepreneurs' psychological well-being, Need satisfaction, Opportunity motivation, Self-determination theory