Balancing Act: An Exploration of Work-Life Balance Management among Founders of Danish Early-Stage Tech Startups

Katharina Hartlieb & Lea Madlen Hoberg

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


When a startup becomes like a "baby", balancing between work commitments and private life can become a permanent challenge for founders - especially in today's fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. This study explores how entrepreneurs manage their work-life balance (WLB) in the context of Danish early-stage tech startups. The WLB of entrepreneurs requires special attention due to their unique circumstances. However, conflicting findings and the lack of focus on the social context in the literature leave open questions in this regard. This study seeks to fill gaps in current literature by investigating challenges of WLB among entrepreneurs and their strategies for managing them. Border theory provides a framework to examine the active efforts individuals make to achieve their desired balance. The explorative study is based on ten in-depth qualitative interviews with entrepreneurs in Danish early-stage tech startups. To make sense of the empirical data, a thematic analysis is conducted.

The findings reveal that entrepreneurs face unique WLB challenges that require specialized strategies, due to high levels of uncertainty, unique work processes, and the strong attachment to their company. There is a significant variation in the challenges and strategies among founders, although there is a frequent connection to mental processes. The social context, including company fit, stakeholder pressure, and community culture, plays a critical role in shaping entrepreneurs' perception of their identity and their WLB management practices. These factors significantly influence the effectiveness and satisfaction of WLB management practices among entrepreneurs. This study sheds light on the application of border theory in entrepreneurship and aims to make a valuable contribution to the field of entrepreneurial WLB. It underlines the need for more research in this field, specifically on contextual factors such as the socioeconomic, organizational, and personal environment, to support the wellbeing and success of entrepreneurs and their ventures.

UddannelserCand.soc.oie Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider133
VejledereChristian Garmann Johnsen