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Evolving as an entrepreneur: a life story approach to studying Indian women entrepreneurs

Evolving as an entrepreneur: a life story approach to studying Indian women entrepreneurs The purpose of this article is to understand how women develop entrepreneurship as a career identity through women's various life stages. Using a life story approach, the authors study the formation of Indian businesswomen's entrepreneurial identity in businesswomen's unique socio-cultural context.Design/methodology/approachThe study drew upon 15 semi-structured interviews with practicing women entrepreneurs using a qualitative methodology. Gioia methodology was used to systematically analyze the data for theory building.FindingsThe narratives of the Indian women entrepreneurs indicate that Indian women's entrepreneurial identity was a developmental process influenced by various episodes in different life stages-childhood, adolescence, marriage and motherhood. Life episodes influenced the creation and enactment of this entrepreneurial identity, which led to the emergence of entrepreneurship as a career choice.Research limitations/implicationsThe study's retrospective design may have raised concerns involving memory recall. The open-ended questions gave the participants the freedom to recount the life episodes that influenced the participants the most and may have partly mitigated this concern.Originality/valuePrior studies have focused on specific life stages of women entrepreneurs, without taking a holistic life-story view, thereby missing out on how career identity is formed as a result of life episodes. Using the developmental psychology approach, the authors provide a nuanced and holistic lens to understanding women's entrepreneurship. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

Evolving as an entrepreneur: a life story approach to studying Indian women entrepreneurs

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References (92)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1362-0436
DOI
10.1108/cdi-10-2022-0274
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to understand how women develop entrepreneurship as a career identity through women's various life stages. Using a life story approach, the authors study the formation of Indian businesswomen's entrepreneurial identity in businesswomen's unique socio-cultural context.Design/methodology/approachThe study drew upon 15 semi-structured interviews with practicing women entrepreneurs using a qualitative methodology. Gioia methodology was used to systematically analyze the data for theory building.FindingsThe narratives of the Indian women entrepreneurs indicate that Indian women's entrepreneurial identity was a developmental process influenced by various episodes in different life stages-childhood, adolescence, marriage and motherhood. Life episodes influenced the creation and enactment of this entrepreneurial identity, which led to the emergence of entrepreneurship as a career choice.Research limitations/implicationsThe study's retrospective design may have raised concerns involving memory recall. The open-ended questions gave the participants the freedom to recount the life episodes that influenced the participants the most and may have partly mitigated this concern.Originality/valuePrior studies have focused on specific life stages of women entrepreneurs, without taking a holistic life-story view, thereby missing out on how career identity is formed as a result of life episodes. Using the developmental psychology approach, the authors provide a nuanced and holistic lens to understanding women's entrepreneurship.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 8, 2023

Keywords: Women entrepreneurship; Career identity; Life story approach; Life-episodes

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