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International Handbook of Women and Small Business Entrepreneurship

Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson

The number of women entering small business ownership has increased significantly across the world in recent years. These women make a crucial contribution to the economic growth and development of local, national and global economies. Yet, despite their increasing numbers, they have received comparatively little attention from the academic community. This comprehensive and coherent book redresses the balance and provides an up-to-date, theoretical review of this important area of study. A distinguished group of international contributors presents the latest work from the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore, which explores practical initiatives and strategies related to the experiences of women entering small business entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 3: Analysing Achievement, Motivation and Leadership in Women Entrepreneurs: A New Integration

Janice Langan-Fox


Janice Langan-Fox Women’s workforce participation and entrepreneurship Traditionally, women’s workforce participation was confined to paid employment such as nursing, teaching, and service jobs such as retail, customer relations, and so on, (see e.g., Poole and Langan-Fox, 1997) and in the past, women made up only a small proportion of small business operators, although they could have been an ‘invisible’ backbone to male (spouse) entrepreneurs by being the supporting partner. However, women’s economic activity has changed and increased significantly in most countries (UN, n.d.). In the last ten years the number of women business owners and operators has risen in almost every OECD country (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) (Devine, 1994; ABS, 1997; Statistics New Zealand, 1998; UN, n.d.). Women now make up a substantial proportion of small business proprietorship and are a ‘powerful force’ in the economy (Buttner and Moore, 1997, p. 34). What are the main motivations of the entrepreneur? What characteristics distinguish them from the typical employee or manager? More at issue, what research developments have occurred in achievement motivation and leadership which illuminate women’s entrepreneurship? In what follows, the dispositional make-up of entrepreneurs is analysed, especially the link to motives and leadership, with a focus given to women. These determinants (besides other variables) are powerful explanators of outcomes and successes of small business operators and facilitate new research agendas. Need for Achievement (nAch): the predisposition in entrepreneurs The disposition ‘need to achieve’ (nAch) has been hypothesized to be the dominant characteristic of entrepreneurs (McClelland,...

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