Gender Characterizations in Entrepreneurship: A Multi‐Level Investigation of Sex‐Role Stereotypes About High‐Growth, Commercial, and Social Entrepreneurs

23 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2018

See all articles by Vishal K. Gupta

Vishal K. Gupta

University of Alabama - Department of Management

Alice Wieland

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Daniel B. Turban

University of Missouri - Department of Management

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to cast new light on possible gender biases in implicit theories people hold about various forms of entrepreneurial activity. Using social role theory, we delve into sex‐role stereotypes associated with high‐ and low‐growth entrepreneurship and commercial and social entrepreneurship. Predictions were tested with an experimental design using both a between‐subject design to capture group‐level stereotypes and a within‐subject design to capture individual‐level stereotypes. Findings reveal that commercial and high‐growth entrepreneurs are perceived as more similar to men than to women and higher on agency than communality. Conversely, low‐growth entrepreneurs are perceived as more similar to women than men, and higher on communality than agency. Social entrepreneurs are uniquely perceived as similar to both men and women, though they are also considered higher on agency than communality. Interestingly, female, but not male respondents, perceive some overlap between the feminine gender role and high‐growth and commercial entrepreneurship. Notably, those higher on modern sexism perceive less overlap between entrepreneurship and femininity. Taken together, our results suggest that commercial high‐growth entrepreneurship is most strongly male‐typed, which is likely to be problematic for women (and non‐traditional men) wanting to start growth‐oriented ventures. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Vishal K. and Wieland, Alice and Turban, Daniel B., Gender Characterizations in Entrepreneurship: A Multi‐Level Investigation of Sex‐Role Stereotypes About High‐Growth, Commercial, and Social Entrepreneurs (January 2019). Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 57, Issue 1, pp. 131-153, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305313 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsbm.12495

Vishal K. Gupta (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - Department of Management ( email )

101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Alice Wieland

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Daniel B. Turban

University of Missouri - Department of Management ( email )

United States

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