Posted by

Dr Robert Lee, Senior Lecturer Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.

08 Oct 2014

The Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech (25 November 2010) on measuring well-being in Britain and stressed: ‘I am excited about this…this is something we ought to try and measure, get right, and understand’.

Together with Professor Heinz Tuselmann (Manchester Metropolitan University Business School) and Professor Eleanor Shaw (University of Strathclyde Business School), I recently conducted a British Academy funded survey of owner managers’ personal well-being and innovation outcomes.

The survey shows that higher personal well-being, for instance positive emotions-mood in the workplace, participation in an arts or cultural activity and healthy lifestyles are associated with higher innovation.

While the Prime Minister commissioned the Office for National Statistics ONS to measure well-being and happiness in Britain, there is very little evidence regarding owner managers’ personal well-being indicators and links to innovation. 

Examining the understudied links between owner managers’ personal well-being and innovation is essential, because the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills indicates that small and medium sized enterprises are the ‘lifeblood’ of the economy.                 

In particular, the new survey of owner managers’ demonstrates a significant association between positive emotions-mood in the workplace (alert, attentive, determined, inspired, proud and strong) and higher innovation. The data further shows a significant association between participation in an arts or cultural activity (museums, galleries, libraries, heritage sites, theatres, films or concerts) and higher innovation. In addition, regular sport participation or moderate intensity exercise is significantly associated with higher innovation.   

Based on the new evidence, I encourage owner managers’ to understand and enhance their own personal well-being. In addition, I suggest owner managers: first, reinforce positive emotions-mood in the workplace; and second, participate in non-physical and physical leisure and lifestyle activities that promote health benefits. These simple steps could enable creativity, the development of new products and services and new market entry.                                           



All views expressed in guest blogs are that of the authors, and not of the British Chambers of Commerce.