Purpose – While the entrepreneurship and small business research literature has tended to portray women as lesser than men in identifying the differences between them, little research has looked at how gender is construed in business ownership. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new focus, examining how male and female business owners construe each other. Design/methodology/approach – The research employs George Kelly's personal construct theory and repertory grids to examine the constructs associated with male and female business owners. Findings – It is found that there are many constructs used to describe business owners and, counter to predictions from some of the literature review, few differences between the way in which male and female business owners are construed. The paper offers explanations as to why so few differences are found. Research limitations/implications – The sample is limited to just one area of Britain and the businesses had all been established in the last three years. This will influence the generalizability of the findings. Originality/value – This paper is able to offer research evidence to demonstrate that male and female business owners do not construe male and female business owners differently.
International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 30, 2010
Keywords: Gender; Small enterprises; Entrepreneurialism; United Kingdom
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