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Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research

Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research

Diverse Settings, Questions and Approaches

Edited by Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings

Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research responds to recent calls from academic researchers and policy analysts alike to pay greater attention to the diversity and heterogeneity among women entrepreneurs. Drawing together studies by 26 researchers affiliated with the DIANA International Research Network, this collection contributes to a richer and more robust understanding of the field.

Chapter 11: Gender and the Multidimensional Nature of Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy: Factor-analytic Findings

Cristina Díaz García

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


Cristina Díaz García* INTRODUCTION Over the past few decades, women have significantly advanced in new venture creation and contributed more to the economy. However, these developments have only been in absolute terms, since women’s participation in entrepreneurship is still considerably lower than men’s (Allen et al., 2008). This can be explained by personal attributes, background and disposition. However, ‘a lack of confidence is perhaps the greatest barrier to women’s progression into micro and small business ownership’ (Fielden et al., 2003: 162). This lack of confidence is rooted in social, cultural and institutional arrangements that frame how women perceive opportunities and make strategic choices; a lack of confidence also impacts how women view their businesses (De Bruin et al., 2007). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE), or the subjective self-assessment of having adequate skills and knowledge, is positively related to women’s propensity to start new businesses (Langowitz and Minniti, 2007; Wilson et al., 2007). In this regard, the majority of studies concentrate on the relation between self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions (Kickul et al., 2008; Kourilsky and Walstad, 1998; Wilson et al., 2007), with many studies concluding that men tend to have higher self-efficacy than women (Kirkwood, 2009; Kourilsky and Walstad, 1998; Wilson et al., 2007). However, self-efficacy also affects men’s actions in their ongoing businesses (Kirkwood, 2009). Furthermore, much of the preceding empirical research has relied on an ‘overall entrepreneurship self-efficacy measure’ (Kickul et al., 2008: 325). Recently, several articles have questioned this approach, calling for research on the multidimensionality of the...

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