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Title: Moving into self-employment
Author: Cannon, James Andrew.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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The number of people who are self-employed has risen in recent years with some writers describing self-employment as an increasingly important mode of employment for the future. Studies, which have focussed on samples relevant to the career counselling and outplacement industries, have sought to explain the reasons for self-employment and to identify those who might be successful. This thesis describes the experience of those making the choice of self-employment, how the factors that influence choice change in their significance to the individual during the transition from employment and identifies factors related to success. This thesis suggests that career counsellors should be more aware of the changing pattern of influence that occurs during the transition to self-employment. By extending the repertoire of tools and insights upon which they might draw, career counsellors are helped in their task of assisting people make the choice of self-employment, especially those who have experienced redundancy. The method involved retrospective studies using both interviews and questionnaires and a longitudinal study of redundant people passing through outplacement. The latter approach entailed a series of interviews which were analysed by cognitive mapping. The use of both qualitative and quantitative methods was designed to give a fuller understanding of the experience of becoming self-employed as well as enabling conclusions to be drawn about the factors relating to the success of a sample of the self-employed. The outcomes of the studies are a clearer understanding of the role of eight key factors associated with the choice of self-employment (trigger events, family legacy, significant others, self-efficacy, personal model of working life, skills and attributes, risk and future work options) and the identification of extraversion, creativity and self-efficacy as significantly related to success. In addition, the studies support community interaction as an explanatory theory of how the choice of self-employment is made and cognitive mapping as a facilitative method that assists in sense making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available