Gender and Entrepreneurship

Gender and Entrepreneurship

A Multilevel Theory and Analysis

Amanda Brickman Elam

This book examines three distinct contributions to the study of entrepreneurship. Firstly, it contributes to both sociological and institutional theories of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneur. Secondly, it presents a cross-national comparative framework for the multilevel analysis of entrepreneurship. Finally, this book produces a key multilevel finding with regard to the importance of national gender beliefs for the likelihood of business creation among both men and women.

Preface

Amanda Brickman Elam

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management

Extract

___________________________________________________ The original intent of this project was to search out a better explanation of why women are so often less likely to start businesses and, when they do, why women start very different businesses. Quickly, it became apparent to me that most of the theories guiding current research efforts in entrepreneurship studies were largely insufficient for the task. As a consequence, I began to formulate my own perspective on gender and entrepreneurship, drawing on contemporary sociological theories of social action and society. The next step was to find some data for a test of the resulting theoretical hypotheses. I stumbled upon the Global Entrepreneurship Data right about the time that the first gender findings were reported. Immediately, I was intrigued with the reported variation in the gender gap in entrepreneurship participation across countries. While I had a good sense of how we might theorize more effectively about the gender differences found in the United States, less apparent was how we might begin to develop strong theoretically-based explanations about cross-national patterns in gendered rates of participation. My passion for social theory led me back to the drawing board for more theory development. The results of these initial efforts to develop a cross-national comparative theory of gender and entrepreneurship are found here in this book. Almost two years have passed now since I first sat down to write this dissertation. The time has passed quickly and, along the way, I have made many new discoveries. I have come to look at the...