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The role of the entrepreneurs' wives in the management of occupational risk: A monographic study of the limits of delegation

Abstract : This article presents a monographic, qualitative study of the role of the wife of a small business owner in occupational risk management. In a context where there is little differentiation in the social relationships that characterize the business, the small business owner can find it difficult to deploy a risk prevention plan. This study in a French company with fewer than 50 employees records the entire process - from informing the owner of their regulatory obligations - to the operationalization of risk prevention in the field. While actions to raise the awareness of small business owners of their regulatory obligations have been well documented, we know little about their sustainability in practice. Our examination of a small business in the construction sector highlights the measures taken by the entrepreneur's wife to fulfil her duties, and the organisational and symbolic challenges she encountered. Although there is already extensive research into the assistant role often assumed by the entrepreneur's wife, the challenges she has to face when taking responsibility for health and safety remain poorly understood. This article therefore not only presents the expected benefits of the delegation of the health and safety function to the business owner's wife but also the limits of this delegation of powers, given her status within the family and the organisational constraints that she must face. We took a research-intervention approach; the researcher implemented management tools and shared knowledge with company members during the intervention. The study highlighted the mechanisms involved in resistance to change and the limitations of the role of the entrepreneur's wife.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 9, 2015 - 11:30:56 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:31:20 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01101655, version 1


Christophe Martin, Franck Guarnieri. The role of the entrepreneurs' wives in the management of occupational risk: A monographic study of the limits of delegation. Small Enterprise Research: The Journal of SEAANZ, 2014, 21, 2, pp.201-213. ⟨hal-01101655⟩



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