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ABSTRACT

This research tends to examine the effect of business stress on the performance of small scale entrepreneur with scope covering over two hundred business owners across Lagos State. A survey design was employed, with the use of simple random sampling technique two hundred business owners were sampled in Lagos state. Data were gathered with the use of a well-structured questionnaire which were distributed to one hundred business owners. These data were analyzed and presented on table in percentile. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of Chi-Square analysis. The analysis resulted to rejecting all null hypotheses and accepting the five hypotheses. It was concluded that there is significant relationship between business stress and business performance, there is significant relationship between business stress and work motivation and there is significant relationship between business stress and marital status. Recommendations were proffered to these business owners.

                                        CHAPTER ONE

                                      INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

This study focus on how stress affects the performance of small business entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Before now, entrepreneurs have been recognized as an essential ingredient of economic development. The manner it has been explained in the Western societies has varied from time to time to suit the changing values of socio-economic reality.

To Schumpeter (1961), an entrepreneur is a dynamic agent of change, or the catalyst who transformed increasingly physical natural and human resources into corresponding production possibilities. For any economy to grow and develop there is need for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has been defined as the willingness and ability of an individual to seek out investment opportunities, establish and run an enterprise successfully. Over the years, several attempts have been made to explain economic growth, within the past three decades or so, one factor which has been emphasized as a pre-requisite to economic growth is entrepreneurship.

In the context of our society, an entrepreneur will be assumed to include any person who runs a business. Thus, the man who owns a departmental store, bookshop, beer parlour, printing press, beauty salon, publisher, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer etc is an entrepreneur (Nwachukwu, 1990) small and medium scale business owners in this country have on their own made immense contribution to the development of the national economy over the year.

On the other hand, despite the contributions made by entrepreneurs to the economy they are often faced with some problems which include:

High Degree of Business Uncertainty: Entrepreneurship development is faced with high level of uncertainty associated with enterprise ownership, there is constant threat of government interventions, political instability and degrees etc. Because of these, one has to expect changes in monetary policy, credit policy, etc.

Limited Profit Opportunities: This is as a result of low level of real income and limited market, even now, the situation is the same with economic depression and most business enterprise are folding up because they cannot break even what more making profit.

Problem of Power Supply: Power failure possesses a lot of problem for entrepreneurs which make them spend more for alternative resources.

Insufficient Capital: Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to borrow from banks, because of the processes involved and because of this reasons, he/she has limited resources to work with.

Other problem encountered by entrepreneurs include family problem, emotional problem, work overload, cultural barrier, work insecurity, work pressure, high cost of materials etc.

All these and lots more causes problem for small scale business owners which might lead to stress. The effect of stress in the work place can be sometimes serve that same researchers have been prompted to equate it effect with “combat stress” or battle fatigue.” (Nelson et al). Stress lowers individual and organizational performance which lead to both production and quality suffering (Nelson and Quick, 1996).

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Stress in the workplace is a growing problem with extensive cost to individual, organizations and the society at large. Often times, small business owners are faced with high level of stress, this is because work and its demand often dominate their lives (Jamal, 1997), clear separation between work and non-work activities are frequently non-existence, moreover, an average work day can easily extend to 12 hours or longer (Jamal and Badawi, 1995).

Although many industrialized nations and their citizens might be enjoying the frit of their industrial revolution through ever-higher standard of labour they are enjoying these fruits less than was anticipated. This may be due to large measure to the excessive level of stress in their lives (Karasek et al.,) stress is widely accepted as a potential drawback of small business owners (Akande, 1992 et al).

Therefore, this study will examine how stress affect the performance of small business entrepreneurs and also evaluate the problems associated with stress in business and probably suggest solutions.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objectives for this study include:

  1. To determine the impact of business stress on the performance of small business entrepreneurs
  2. To determine the impact of work motivation on the performance of small business entrepreneurs.
  3. To determine the impact of social support on the performance of small business entrepreneurs
  4. To determine the impact of collegiality on the performance of small business entrepreneurs
  5. To determine the effect of unmet expectation on the performance of small business entrepreneurs
  6. To determine the impact of autonomy in the performance of small business entrepreneurs.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To provide answer to the research questions arising from this study, the following hypotheses are postulated.

Hypothesis One

H0:    There is no significant relationship between business stress and business performance

H1:    There is significant relationship between business stress and business performance

Hypothesis Two

H0:    There is no significant relationship between business stress and negative affectivity

H2:    There is significant relationship between business stress and negative affectivity

Hypothesis Three

H0:    There is no significant relationship between business stress and work motivation

H3:    There is significant relationship between business stress and work motivation

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Numerous studies has explored the causes of occupational stress and these include: the  pressures, job dissatisfaction, job insecurity, poor supervision, boring repetitive work, work over load, lack of communication, too much or too little responsibility, poor work/life balance etc (Kaal, 1973).  Little is known on how work motivation, social support and collegiality help to reduce the impact of stress on performance of small business entrepreneurs, and how unmet expectation also affects their performance.

This research therefore helps to advance the researchers knowledge in respect to the topic and also enable her contribute to the finding of solution to the problem for which the research is based.

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study is limited to some particular businesses such as the Mechanical/Autorical, Transport Service, Business Venture/Bulk Sales (Antisan). This is to say that the study is restricted to some selected workers and some business executive in Yaba Area of Lagos State, Nigeria.

 In the course of the study, there were some setbacks that have hindered the full realization of the objective of this study.  First, is that the study is limited to only 200 business owners compared to the large number of entrepreneurs in Lagos State.

Also, there was a poor response by some entrepreneurs especially the Transport Service who less believe in paper work and therefore fail to fill their questionnaires promptly, while some collected the questionnaires and refuse to return them thereby reducing the total number of questionnaires distributed.

1.7 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

Effect: defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Business stress: Business/Office stress is a state of mental or emotional strain experienced by business owners as well as employees. Workplace stress is a major problem and is becoming increasingly common.

Small scale entrepreneur: Sometimes called a small business, a small-scale enterprise is a business that employs a small number of workers and does not have a high volume of sales. Such enterprises are generally privately owned and operated sole proprietorships, corporations or partnerships.

Coping: to face and deal with responsibilities, problems or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner.

Problem-based coping: Problem-focused coping targets the causes of stress in practical ways which tackles the problem or stressful situation that is causing stress, consequently directly reducing the stress. Problem focused strategies aim to remove or reduce the cause of the stressor, including: Problem-solving.

Emotion-based coping: Avoidance of the emotional distress will distract from the negative feelings associated with the stressor. Emotion-focused coping is well suited for stressors that seem uncontrollable (ex. a terminal illness diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one).

Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is more often than not, initially a small business, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs.

Business performance: Business performance management is a set of performance management and analytic processes that enables the management of an organization’s performance to achieve one or more pre-selected goals. Synonyms for “business performance management” include “corporate performance management (CPM)”[1] and “enterprise performance management”.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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