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Motherhood and entrepreneurship: gender role identity as a resource

Motherhood and entrepreneurship: gender role identity as a resource Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider gender role identity as an informal institution shaping female entrepreneurship, and to illuminate the dual effects of institutions as constraining and enabling forces. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the context of female entrepreneurship in Japan, and highlights the importance of “motherhood” for Japanese women. Outlining the institutional context of gender role and female entrepreneurship, and using two case studies of Japanese female entrepreneurs as illustrative examples, the paper explores how gender role identity can be viewed as a core element driving female entrepreneurship. Drawing on institutional theory and the “role as resource” perspective, a set of propositions are advanced on linkages between gender role identity and female entrepreneurship. Findings – The findings suggest that a strong identification with their family roles, in particular the role as a mother, lead Japanese women onto the entrepreneurial path. A strong gender role identity is also reflected in the identity of the ventures, the products and services provided by these ventures, and their organizational structure and practices. Research limitations/implications – This study represents an initial attempt to explore how female entrepreneurs can leverage their gender role identity in creating a unique configuration for their ventures that represents a fit to their identity as mothers. Originality/value – Instead of viewing gender role identity one‐sidedly as a constraint, the case‐study‐based conceptual arguments advanced are employed to develop a more balanced perspective on motherhood as being an enabling factor in female entrepreneurship. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship Emerald Publishing

Motherhood and entrepreneurship: gender role identity as a resource

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-6266
DOI
10.1108/17566261111169331
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider gender role identity as an informal institution shaping female entrepreneurship, and to illuminate the dual effects of institutions as constraining and enabling forces. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the context of female entrepreneurship in Japan, and highlights the importance of “motherhood” for Japanese women. Outlining the institutional context of gender role and female entrepreneurship, and using two case studies of Japanese female entrepreneurs as illustrative examples, the paper explores how gender role identity can be viewed as a core element driving female entrepreneurship. Drawing on institutional theory and the “role as resource” perspective, a set of propositions are advanced on linkages between gender role identity and female entrepreneurship. Findings – The findings suggest that a strong identification with their family roles, in particular the role as a mother, lead Japanese women onto the entrepreneurial path. A strong gender role identity is also reflected in the identity of the ventures, the products and services provided by these ventures, and their organizational structure and practices. Research limitations/implications – This study represents an initial attempt to explore how female entrepreneurs can leverage their gender role identity in creating a unique configuration for their ventures that represents a fit to their identity as mothers. Originality/value – Instead of viewing gender role identity one‐sidedly as a constraint, the case‐study‐based conceptual arguments advanced are employed to develop a more balanced perspective on motherhood as being an enabling factor in female entrepreneurship.

Journal

International Journal of Gender and EntrepreneurshipEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: Japan; Women; Entrepreneurialism; Women's entrepreneurship; Family roles; Gender theory; National culture

References