Journal of Business Research— A Better Tomorrow? Work and Well-being in the Entrepreneurial Society

When:  Dec 31, 2022 from 09:00 to 23:59 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)
A Better Tomorrow? Work and Well-being in the Entrepreneurial Society

Article type: The Future of Entrepreneurial Work

Managing Guest Editor: Joel B. Carnevale:

Submission window: Oct 1 – Dec 31 2022


“Future of work” is one of the hottest topics across a number of scientific disciplines. For example, such research is strongly supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This topic has become even more critical in recent years as we have faced the challenges of work brought about through the pandemic. This proposed Special Issue links future of work to well-being and entrepreneurship. It asks the broad question: “what are the implications of the expansive and rapid change driven by technology and digitalization on well-being, current working practices and how society is organized?” thereby making it suitable for management and entrepreneurship scholars. Our six-person team from four different continents represents intimate experience with the most important facets of the topic, has decades of editorial experience with relevant journals, and has jointly guest edited over a dozen special issues. The team has raised funds to organize a paper development workshop and facilitate high impact submissions to the Special Issue.


The nature of work is rapidly changing, driven, in part, by technological innovation (see e.g., Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2011). For example, an increasing number of organizations are considering the implementation of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications, combined with artificial intelligence, as well as robotics. In response to dealing with this challenging and disruptive new world that is emerging, new organizational designs will need to evolve (Kornberger et al., 2017), shaping the lives of workers. Considering the example of AR and VR, for many jobs, the physical location will become less relevant and travelling on the job will take seconds. Nevertheless, for continued productivity, issues such as social presence versus online presence, or rather how to overcome ephemeral barriers to communication that exist for teleworking through work design, have to be dealt with. In this regard, people are able to shape technological innovation as well, especially in the world of work. How these developments will be explored and exploited to build a sustainable and inclusive future for work and therefore how work is structured in entrepreneurial ways is becoming a critical topic for research, policy and practice (NSF, 2019). This is because organizations have to be designed in a way, which continuously creates value for customers, owners, employees and investors. Moreover, novel organizational designs need to enable and support positive effects on society, people and the global challenges we are facing today. Therefore, we need to identify how to navigate these developments so we can see new possibilities for organizations, people and society[1].

That the very nature of human work is changing has multifaceted implications for well-being (WHO, 2019). For example, with a fragmented workforce and increasing remote work, boundaries between work and leisure blur, people may lose their organizational identification, and loneliness increases. As workplace automation increases, many conventional workers will experience a loss in purpose, with purpose being critical for well-being. While there is a view that modern employers increasingly invest in the well-being of their employees, supporting exercise, meditation, and personal coaching among other things - for example, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, emphasizes the importance of well-being for being productive at work, and sets an example by mediating and exercising daily – the reality for many is that technology has also meant employees are increasingly expected to be contactable 24/7.

At the same time, there are positive outlooks in that the virtual reality office could make the entire world one large inclusive innovation hub with no spatial limitations. In addition, the reduction of time needed for travelling could also imply that workers will spend more time in the family sphere than business sphere, potentially leading to novel family-to-business and business-to-family challenges and opportunities (Eddleston and Mulki, 2015). Other positive outlooks include greater opportunity for individuals to engage in high level skills and meaningful tasks because routine tasks are being replaced in work; enhanced control as a result of greater decentralization of knowledge enabled by ICT; and the eradication of various forms of physically dangerous work. Simultaneously, new technologies can create more passive ‘monitoring’ jobs; algorithmic decision making and replace opportunities for professional judgement; human skill can be degraded and lost as machine dependency increases; and practices such as platform based micro-work, such as online piecework, can be modern forms of Taylorism (Parker & Grote, under review). Altogether, these illustrations of how work might change make it clear that, depending on a range of factors, future work might be, on the one hand, flexible, highly skilled, interesting, and complex work, but on the other hand, excessively demanding, Tayloristic, and stripped of meaning, with associated flow on positive or detrimental effects for employee well-being. It is vital, therefore, that serious consideration is given to how work is changing and its impacts for well-being, especially given the ‘mental health’ crisis already occurring across the globe (Wiklund et al., 2018).

The future of work and its implications for well-being is highly salient in the context of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is about opportunity and the creation of value through change. As a context, entrepreneurship both drives change and is the outcome of change. It therefore sits well as being a context in which the future of work and well-being should be discussed.

First, it is well noted that entrepreneurship drives employment growth, prosperity and economic development (Wiklund et al., 1997). New jobs are primarily created by new ventures (Shane, 2009). Several of today’s industry leaders did not even exist as recently as two decades ago (e.g., Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Amazon). Through the process of creative destruction (Schumpeter, 1934), the jobs created as a consequence of the success of these (relatively) new firms and other entrepreneurial firms will eventually replace those that dominate today. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic is thought to have threatened more than 59 million jobs in Europe and the job security of around 80% of workers[2]. With entrepreneurship and the firms entrepreneurs build being thought to be a way to build back from the pandemic, the study of these firms will provide us with clues as to what the future of work might look like (Kornberger et al., 2017).

Second, the digital transformation process also leads to entrepreneurship, manifesting in business model innovation such as Uber owning no cars, Facebook creating no content, Alibaba carrying no stock and Airbnb owning no property (Kornberger et al., 2017). New technologies utilized by new ventures are fueling the rise of the ‘gig economy’ where employees in large sectors of the economy are turned into semi-independent contractors and/or face novel organizational designs (De Stefano, 2015). In this regard, improved global communication technology and greater acceptance for remote work has opened opportunities for so called ‘digital nomads’. They travel with their laptops to attractive locations working remotely as independent contractors for large companies in the west (e.g., Muller, 2015). Estonia and Thailand recently opened new visa classes to attract this nomadic work force (Gaskell, 2018). Such a life-style resonates with society’s gradual shift towards post-materialistic values (Inglehart, 2018). The opportunities for personal fulfillment and self-actualization potentially associated with entrepreneurship appear attractive to many (Wiklund et al., 2019). Furthermore, those living in small, rural and marginalized communities have increasing opportunities to entrepreneurially engage with global markets. This puts place firmly back on the agenda. Yet, remote working brings its own challenges (Daniel et al., 2017; Eddleston and Mulki, 2015; Wright et al., 2017) as does pushed (necessity‐driven) and pulled (opportunity‐driven) start-up behavior (Rocha et al., 2017).

In sum, the nature of work is changing in fundamental ways that have important implications for well-being. These developments are particularly salient within entrepreneurial contexts. This offers ample opportunities for research for scholars from diverse scholarly backgrounds. It is an area of research that allows opportunities for cross-fertilization of concepts and ideas from different disciplines.

Sample Topics:

Given the limited attention to the topic in the management literature, this call for papers will be intentionally broad. The following is not an exhaustive list but provides some examples of potential topics.

  • What are the characteristics of the jobs created by the new entrepreneurial firms (e.g., small entrepreneurial firms, but also large ones like Google, Facebook, Amazon)? What are the characteristics of the jobs created by smaller start-ups? Does the rhetoric of flexible, autonomous work match the reality?
  • What can, and how do, established organizations learn from start-ups in terms of novel, creative organizational designs that support employee well-being, and how can entrepreneurial designs be implemented in established organizations?
  • What can start-ups learn from established organizations when it comes to supporting well-being of employees? Is there a dark side to entrepreneurial designs in terms of well-being issues?
  • How do new technologies (e.g., AR, VR, 3D print, robotics) affect how organizations, teams and individuals (e.g., entrepreneurs, top management team, managers, employees) structure their work, and hence their well-being? What is the change in work roles for managers and employees?
  • How do new technologies and organizational designs affect the interrelatedness of the work and private sphere for individuals, with flow on effects for employee well-being?
  • How can entrepreneurs navigate these technological developments to see new possibilities for their organizations and the well-being of people? In fact, what are the important decisions and choices entrepreneurs will have to make when it comes to shaping work and well-being in the future so organizations remain competitive but also attractive? And also how might these changes impact on the places (for example, rural, urban and marginalized communities) in which entrepreneurship happens?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of coworking spaces used by independent contractors? How do co-working spaces need to be designed to foster well-being among the tenants?
  • Do employees need to be more and more entrepreneurial in their career choices?
  • Theories of work and well-being suggest that stress and burnout result from poorly designed work. How can these models be extended to fit with work design of the future?
  • Are occupations that show a higher future of work component (e.g., software designers) more or less stress-free than other more traditional occupations?
  • How can work be structured to accommodate the needs and abilities of individuals with mental disorders in terms of a strength-based approach?
  • How do entrepreneurs with mental disorders structure their work, and what kind of support from both the business and private sphere is needed to flourish?
  • What can organizations learn from entrepreneurs with mental disorders in terms of structuring employees’ work?

As capturing work design and individuals’ well-being are far from easy, we welcome studies that employ new methods to do so, such as physiological measurements (e.g., heartrate, blood pressure, sweating), experimental settings, ethnography, and experience sampling methodologies (e.g. Uy et al., 2010).


The editorial team brings inter-disciplinary expertise to the topic of the proposed Special Issue. Besides being highly productive scholars, the proposed guest editors have substantial editorial and reviewer experience.

We envision an open competitive call that will attract many first-rate submissions. The Special Issue will be promoted broadly through scholarly associations active in entrepreneurship and OB where the SI editors hold memberships and/or attend. This includes, for example, the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship and OB Divisions, SIOP (the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), EAWOP (European Work & Organizational Psychology conference), APAs Work, Stress and Well-being conference, the Babson Conference, and Rencontres de St. Gall. We have also prepared a list of established scholars either interested in research on the future of work and/or active in the field of well-being/entrepreneurship to whom we will send personal invitations to submit articles to the Special Issue.

The proposed SI development process will consist of six stages. First, we will organize a paper development workshop on the topic of the Special Issue. An explicit aspiration of the Special Issue is to bring scholars who do not regularly publish in Journal of Business Research or other management scholars to take an interest in and submit papers to the Special Issue. The workshop serves the purpose of attracting such scholars. We have used this model in the past with great results. Most recently, we organized a workshop in 2017 that led to a special issue published in Journal of Business Venturing in 2018, with over 90 submissions and 9 published articles.

To fund the workshop and travel for participants, money has been raised from Stockholm School of Economics, National University Singapore, and Syracuse University. At this workshop, authors will receive developmental feedback from the co-editors and invited discussants. Second, we will gather submissions of full papers. Each paper will be sent out for blind review to three reviewers who will include a mix of OB, well-being and entrepreneurship scholars and researchers interested in the future of work and well-being to ensure that the studies meet the standards and are at the forefront of research at the intersection of future of work, well-being and entrepreneurship. Next, the authors will engage in the revision of their papers in response to the comments and suggestions of the workshop participants, as well as the reviews from the three expert referees. The resubmitted papers will be reviewed again, with final decisions made in the third and final round by the co-editors. The table below outlines the proposed schedule[3].

1. Workshop (by invitation)

May 27-29, 2022

2. Full papers submitted to JBR

October 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022

a. Manuscripts sent to reviewers

January 1, 2023

b. First round reviews returned

February 15, 2023

c. Editorial decisions made and authors informed of the decisions

February 30, 2023

3. Revised manuscripts resubmitted

April 30, 2023

a. Manuscripts sent to reviewers for second round review

May 15, 2023

b. Second round reviews returned

May 31, 2023

c. Editorial decisions made and authors informed of the decisions

June 15, 2023

4. Revised manuscripts resubmitted

August 30, 2023

Third round reviews by co-editors completed and authors of conditionally accepted manuscripts informed of final minor revisions to be made

October 15, 2023

5. Authors complete final minor revisions and resubmit

November 15, 2023

6. Introduction to Special Issue written and everything shipped to Naveen Donthu and Anders Gustafsson, Editor-in-Chiefs of JBR for future publication

December 15, 2023

NB: Manuscripts will be reviewed according to the JBR double-blind review process and submissions should be prepared using the JBR Manuscript Preparation Guidelines


Joel Carnevale is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University where he serves as the departmental coordinator for the doctoral program. Primarily interested in the impact of leadership on employee well-being and work behavior, his current research also focuses on the role of emotion and stigma in entrepreneurship. His work has appeared in several notable academic outlets including: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Business Research, and Applied Psychology: An International Review. In addition, his work has appeared in popular media outlets including Business Insider, WebMD, Entrepreneur, and TIME. He received his PhD in management, focused on organizational studies, strategy and change from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of Business Research.

Michael Frese is Professor, Provost’s chair and head of Dept of Management and Organization, NUS Business School, and Professor at Leuphana, University of Luneburg, Germany. He was editor of Applied Psychology: An International Review and of Journal of Business Venturing; he is on the board of JAP and AMJ and was on the board of ETP. He is considered an internationally leading authority in entrepreneurship and organizational behavior research with more than 150 articles appearing in leading entrepreneurship, management and psychology journals and nearly 44,000 citations. He started his career as a professor for clinical psychology at University of Pennsylvania and then moved into OB and entrepreneurship. His research has been published in good psychology, economics, entrepreneurship, and business journals (including Science). Michael has edited 8 special issues for journals, among other, ETP, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Sarah Jack is the Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg Professor of Innovative and Sustainable Business Development at the Department of Management and Organisations, Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), Sweden. She is also Professor of Entrepreneurship with the Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), UK. Through her work she focuses on social aspects of entrepreneurship, where she draws on social capital and social network theory to extend understanding about entrepreneurship using qualitative techniques. Sarah’s research has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Studies, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Journal of Management Inquiry, Technovation and Regional Studies. She serves as an Editor for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Associate Editor for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. Sarah was a co-editor (with Fayolle, A., Lamine, W. and Chabaud, D.) of the book Entrepreneurial Process and Social Networks: A Dynamic Perspective.

Sharon K. Parker is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Curtin Faculty of Business and Law, an Honorary fellow at the University of Western Australia, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sheffield where she was previously Director at the Institute of Work Psychology. She is a recipient of the ARC’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Award, and the Academy of Management OB Division Mentoring Award. Her research focuses on job and work design, employee performance and proactivity, mental health and well-being, and a range of other topics. As the Director of the Centre for Transformative Work Design, and the guest editor of several special issues related to the topic, including forJournal of Organizational Behavior, she is an ideal guest editor for the proposed Special Issue. She has published more than 100 internationally refereed articles, is Associate Editor for Academy of Management Annals, a past Associate Editor of the leading organisational psychology journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and she has severed on numerous editorial boards. Professor Parker has attracted competitive research funding worth over $40,000,000, and has worked as a researcher and consultant in a wide range of public and private organizations. Her research has been cited more than 18,000 times.

Johan Wiklund is the Al Berg Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, USA, Professor Two at Nord University, Norway and Visiting Professor at Lund University, Sweden. His research interests include entrepreneurship and well-being as well as the entry, performance, and exit of entrepreneurial firms. He is considered a leading authority in entrepreneurship research with close to 100 articles appearing in leading entrepreneurship and management journals and over 25,000 citations. He is Editor-in-Chief for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and previously field editor for Journal of Business Venturing. Since 2015 he has been guest editor for special issues in Journal of Management Studies, Academy of Management Perspectives (twice), Journal of Business Venturing, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (twice).


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