A Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Anne de Bruin, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Colette Henry
Chapter 6: The Embeddedness of Women’s Entrepreneurship in a Transition Context
6. The embeddedness of women’s entrepreneurship in a transition context Friederike Welter and David Smallbone INTRODUCTION There is growing recognition in entrepreneurship research that economic behaviour can only be understood within the context of its social relations (for example, Davidsson, 2003; Katz and Steyaert, 2004). This chapter applies an institutional theory perspective to women’s entrepreneurship in transition economies, exploring the different levels of embeddedness as well as the impact of change. During Soviet times, women experienced different institutional ‘realities’ (Ashwin, 2000; Kandiyoti and Azimova, 2004; Kiblitskaya, 2000, Zhurzhenko, 2001), with implications for their opportunities to engage in entrepreneurial activities once transition started. This includes the officially propagated gender equality fostering women’s labour market participation, as well as the Soviet model of ‘worker-mothers’. This contributed to an ongoing double burden for women and the ‘renaissance of patriarchy’ (Zhurzhenko, 1999: 246) that both European and Central Asian societies experienced after transition had started. This is not surprising in Central Asian countries, where cultural values emphasizing patriarchal family relations survived throughout the Soviet period. However, there is a similar trend in European countries, such as Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, reflected in ‘widely held public assumptions that business is a masculine occupation’ (Zhurzhenko, 1999: 246). With regard to (women’s) entrepreneurship, the variety of institutional contexts can either be a liability or an asset. Thus, an institutional analysis of women’s entrepreneurship in a transition context needs to take into account gender roles as supported by Soviet governments as well as pre-Soviet legacies. The chapter begins...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.