Female entrepreneuriship and the management of business and domestic roles: motivations, expectations and realities

Pauric McGowan, Caroline Lewis Redeker, Sarah Y Cooper, Kate Greenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whilst some women are motivated to establish entrepreneurial ventures by factors which are similar to those of their male counterparts (including a desire for independence and financial gain), unlike the majority of men, a sizeable number choose entrepreneurship to balance work responsibilities and earning potential with domestic/familial commitments. Despite growing numbers of women citing flexibility and childcare obligations as strong motivations for starting a business relatively little attention has been paid to exploring their motivations, expectations and actual experiences of entrepreneurship, and the extent to which entrepreneurship really offers an improved work/family ‘balance’. This paper presents findings of exploratory, qualitative research conducted in Northern Ireland, which focused upon the entrepreneurial journeys of 14 women as they established and managed their ventures, whilst balancing domestic/familial demands. Drawing upon information-rich evidence from in-depth interviews, insights are presented into their motivations and expectations of what entrepreneurship would offer, and the realities of their experience.
LanguageEnglish
Pages53-72
JournalEnrepreneuship and Regional Development
Volume24
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Entrepreneurship
Northern Ireland
Venture
Obligation
Entrepreneurial ventures
Work-family balance
Qualitative research
Responsibility
In-depth interviews
Domestic demand
Child care
Factors

Cite this

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title = "Female entrepreneuriship and the management of business and domestic roles: motivations, expectations and realities",
abstract = "Whilst some women are motivated to establish entrepreneurial ventures by factors which are similar to those of their male counterparts (including a desire for independence and financial gain), unlike the majority of men, a sizeable number choose entrepreneurship to balance work responsibilities and earning potential with domestic/familial commitments. Despite growing numbers of women citing flexibility and childcare obligations as strong motivations for starting a business relatively little attention has been paid to exploring their motivations, expectations and actual experiences of entrepreneurship, and the extent to which entrepreneurship really offers an improved work/family ‘balance’. This paper presents findings of exploratory, qualitative research conducted in Northern Ireland, which focused upon the entrepreneurial journeys of 14 women as they established and managed their ventures, whilst balancing domestic/familial demands. Drawing upon information-rich evidence from in-depth interviews, insights are presented into their motivations and expectations of what entrepreneurship would offer, and the realities of their experience.",
author = "Pauric McGowan and Redeker, {Caroline Lewis} and Cooper, {Sarah Y} and Kate Greenan",
note = "Reference text: 1. Allen, IE, Elam, A, Langowitz, N and Dean, M. 2008. Global entrepreneurship monitor: 2007 report on women and entrepreneurship, Wellesley, MA: Babson College. 2. Anna, AL, Chandler, GN, Jansen, E and Mero, NP. 2000. Women business owners in traditional and non-traditional industries. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(5): 279–303. 3. Bennett, R and Dann, S. 2000. The changing experience of Australian female entrepreneurs. Gender, Work and Organization, 7(2): 75–83. 4. Brush, CG, Bruin, Ade and Welter, F. 2009. A gender-aware framework for women's entrepreneurship. International Journal of Gender Entrepreneurship, 1(1): 8–24. 5. Buttner, EH and Moore, DP. 1997. Women's organizational exodus to entrepreneurship: Self-reported motivations and correlates with success. Journal of Small Business Management, 35(1): 34–46. 6. Carter, S and Shaw., E. 2006. Woman's business ownership: Recent research and policy developments. Report to the small business service, November 7. Catterall, M and MacLaran, P. 1996. Using computer programs to code qualitative data. Marketing Intelligence Planning, 14(4): 29–33. 8. Cromie, S. 1987. Similarities and differences between women and men who choose business proprietorship. International Small Business Journal, 5(3): 43–60. 9. Daily, CM, Certo, ST and Dalton, DR. 1999. Entrepreneurial ventures as an avenue to the top? Assessing the advancement of female CEOs and directors in the Inc.100. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 4(1): 19–32. 10. Davis, SEM and Long, DD. 1999. Women entrepreneurs: What do they need?. Business and Economic Review, 45(4): 25–6. 11. de Martino, R, Barbato, R and Jacques, PH. 2006. Exploring the career/achievement and personal life orientation differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs: The impact of sex and dependents. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(3): 350–68. 12. Desrochers, S and Sargent, LD. 2004. Boundary/border theory and work-family integration. Organisation Management Journal, 1(1): 40–8. 13. Dex, S and Scheible, F. 2001. Flexible and family-friendly working arrangements in UK-based SMEs: Business cases. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 39(3): 411–31. 14. Dey, I. 1993. Qualitative data analysis: A user-friendly guide for social scientists, London: Routledge. 15. Eagle, BW, Miles, EW and Icenogle, ML. 1997. Interrole conflicts and the permeability of work and family domains: Are there gender differences?. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 50: 168–84. 16. Easterby-Smith, M, Thorpe, R and Lowe, R. 1991. Management research: An introduction, London: Sage. 17. Fielden, SL, Davidson, MJ, Dawe, AJ and Makin, PJ. 2003. Factors inhibiting the economic growth of female owned small businesses in the North West of England. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 10(2): 152–66. 18. Gatewood, EJ, Shaver, KG, Powers, JB and Gartner, WB. 2002. Entrepreneurial expectancy, task effort, and performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(2): 187–206. 19. Gr{\"o}nlund, A. 2007. More control, less conflict? Job demand-control, gender and work-family conflict. Gender, Work and Organization, 14(5): 476–97. 20. Guba, EG and Lincoln, YS. 1994. “Competing paradigms in qualitative research”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin, NK and Lincoln, YS. 105–17. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 21. Guillaumne, C and Pochic, S. 2007. What would you sacrifice? Access to the top management and the work-life balance. Gender, Work and Organisation, 16(1): 14–36. 22. Hakim, C. 2003. A new approach to explaining fertility patterns: Preference theory. Population and Development Review, 29(3): 349–74. 23. Hampton, A, Cooper, SY and McGowan, P. 2009. Female entrepreneurial networks and networking activity in technology-based ventures: An exploratory study. International Small Business Journal, 27(2): 193–214. 24. Hart, M. 2007. Global entrepreneurship monitor: Northern Ireland, Belfast and London: Invest NI and London Business School. 25. Hirschman, EC. 1986. Humanistic inquiry in marketing research: Philosophy, method and criteria. Journal of Marketing Research, 23(August): 237–49. 26. Hisrich, R and Brush, CG. 1985. “Women and minority entrepreneurs: A comparative analysis”. In Frontiers of entrepreneurial research, Edited by: Hornaday, JA, Shils, EB, Timmons, JA and Vesper, KH. 566–86. Cambridge, MA: Babson College. 27. Knouse, SB and Webb, SC. 2001. Virtual networking for women and minorities. Career Development International, 6(4): 226–8. 28. Lee-Gosselin, H and Grise, J. 1990. Are women owner-managers challenging our definitions of entrepreneurship? An in-depth study. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(4–5): 423–33. 29. Lewis, P. 2006. The quest for invisibility: Female entrepreneurs and the masculine norm of entrepreneurship. Gender, Work and Organisation, 13(5): 453–69. 30. Longstreth, M, Stafford, K and Mauldin, T. 1987. Self-employed women and their families: Time use and socioeconomic characteristics. Journal of Small Business Management, 25(July): 30–7. 31. Marlow, S. 1997. Self employed women: New opportunities, old challenges. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 9(3): 199–210. 32. Marlow, S and Carter, S. 2004. Accounting for change: Professional status, gender disadvantage and self-employment. Women in Management Review, 19(1): 5–17. 33. Marlow, S and Strange, A. 1994. “Female entrepreneurs – success by whose standards?”. In Women in management: A developing presence, Edited by: Tanton, M. 172–84. London: Routledge. 34. Mattis, MC. 2004. Women entrepreneurs: Out from under the glass ceiling. Women in Management Review, 19(3): 154–63. 35. Mayer, H. 2006. “Economic trends and location patterns of women high-tech entrepreneurs”. In Frontiers of entrepreneurship research, Edited by: Zacharakis, A, Alvarez, S, Davidsson, P, iet, J, George, G, Kurato, DK, Mason, C, Maula, M, Minniti, M, Sarasvathy, S, Shepherd, DA, Westhead, P, Wiklund, MJ, Wright, M and Zahra, SA. 298–309. Wellesley, MA: Babson College. 36. Mayrhofer, W, Meyer, M, Schiffinger, M and Schmidt, A. 2008. The influence of family responsibilities, career fields and gender on career success: An empirical study. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(3): 292–323. 37. Merriam, SB. 1988. Case study research in education: A qualitative approach, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 38. Miles, MB and Huberman, AM. 1994. Qualitative data analysis, New York: Sage. 39. Morris, B. 2002. Trophy husbands. Fortune, 14(October): 79–98. 40. Neuman, WL. 1997. Social research methods, London: Allyn and Bacon. 41. O’Reilly, M and Hart, M. 2003. Global entrepreneurship monitor, Northern Ireland, Belfast and London: Invest NI and London Business School. 42. Parasuraman, S and Simmers, CA. 2001. Type of employment, work-family conflicts and well-being: A comparative study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22: 551–68. 43. Reynolds, PD, Bygrave, W, Autio, E, Cox, LW and Hay, M. 2004. Global entrepreneurship monitor 2003: Executive report, Babson College/Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: London Business School. 44. Richards, TJ and Richards, L. 1994. “Using computers in qualitative research”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin, NK and Lincoln, YS. 445–62. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage. 45. Robertson, M, Collins, A, Medira, N and Slater, J. 2003. Barriers to start-up and their effect on aspirant entrepreneurs. Education + Training, 45(6): 308–16. 46. Robinson, S and Stubberud, HA. 2009. Sources of advice in entrepreneurship: Gender differences in business owners’ social networks. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 13: 83–101. 47. Rouse, J and Kitching, J. 2006. Do enterprise support programmes leave women holding the baby?. Environment and Planning C, 24: 5–19. 48. Saltzein, AL, Ting, Y and Saltzein, GH. 2001. Work-family balance and job satisfaction: The impact of family-friendly policies on attitudes of federal government employees. Public Administration Review, 61(4): 452–67. 49. Schindehutte, M, Morris, M and Brennan, C. 2003. Entrepreneurs and motherhood: Impacts on their children in South Africa and the United States. Journal of Small Business Management, 41(1): 94–107. 50. Shelton, LM. 2006. Female entrepreneurs, work-family conflict, and venture performance: New insights into the work-family interface. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(2): 285–97. 51. Stevenson, L. 1990. Some methodological problems associated with researching women entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(4–5): 439–46. 52. Walker, EA and Webster, BJ. 2007. Gender, age and self-employment: Some things change, some stay the same. Women in Management Review, 22(2): 122–35. 53. Williams, DS. 2004. Effects of childcare activities on the duration of self-employment in Europe. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(5): 467–85. 54. Wilson, F, Marlino, D and Kickul, J. 2004. Our entrepreneurial future: Examining the diverse attitudes and motivations of teens across gender and ethnic identity. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 9(3): 177–97. 55. Winn, J. 2004. Entrepreneurship: Not an easy path to top management for women. Women in Management Review, 19(3): 143–53.",
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}

Female entrepreneuriship and the management of business and domestic roles: motivations, expectations and realities. / McGowan, Pauric; Redeker, Caroline Lewis; Cooper, Sarah Y; Greenan, Kate.

In: Enrepreneuship and Regional Development, Vol. 24, No. 1-2, 2012, p. 53-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female entrepreneuriship and the management of business and domestic roles: motivations, expectations and realities

AU - McGowan, Pauric

AU - Redeker, Caroline Lewis

AU - Cooper, Sarah Y

AU - Greenan, Kate

N1 - Reference text: 1. Allen, IE, Elam, A, Langowitz, N and Dean, M. 2008. Global entrepreneurship monitor: 2007 report on women and entrepreneurship, Wellesley, MA: Babson College. 2. Anna, AL, Chandler, GN, Jansen, E and Mero, NP. 2000. Women business owners in traditional and non-traditional industries. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(5): 279–303. 3. Bennett, R and Dann, S. 2000. The changing experience of Australian female entrepreneurs. Gender, Work and Organization, 7(2): 75–83. 4. Brush, CG, Bruin, Ade and Welter, F. 2009. A gender-aware framework for women's entrepreneurship. International Journal of Gender Entrepreneurship, 1(1): 8–24. 5. Buttner, EH and Moore, DP. 1997. Women's organizational exodus to entrepreneurship: Self-reported motivations and correlates with success. Journal of Small Business Management, 35(1): 34–46. 6. Carter, S and Shaw., E. 2006. Woman's business ownership: Recent research and policy developments. Report to the small business service, November 7. Catterall, M and MacLaran, P. 1996. Using computer programs to code qualitative data. Marketing Intelligence Planning, 14(4): 29–33. 8. Cromie, S. 1987. Similarities and differences between women and men who choose business proprietorship. International Small Business Journal, 5(3): 43–60. 9. Daily, CM, Certo, ST and Dalton, DR. 1999. Entrepreneurial ventures as an avenue to the top? Assessing the advancement of female CEOs and directors in the Inc.100. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 4(1): 19–32. 10. Davis, SEM and Long, DD. 1999. Women entrepreneurs: What do they need?. Business and Economic Review, 45(4): 25–6. 11. de Martino, R, Barbato, R and Jacques, PH. 2006. Exploring the career/achievement and personal life orientation differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs: The impact of sex and dependents. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(3): 350–68. 12. Desrochers, S and Sargent, LD. 2004. Boundary/border theory and work-family integration. Organisation Management Journal, 1(1): 40–8. 13. Dex, S and Scheible, F. 2001. Flexible and family-friendly working arrangements in UK-based SMEs: Business cases. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 39(3): 411–31. 14. Dey, I. 1993. Qualitative data analysis: A user-friendly guide for social scientists, London: Routledge. 15. Eagle, BW, Miles, EW and Icenogle, ML. 1997. Interrole conflicts and the permeability of work and family domains: Are there gender differences?. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 50: 168–84. 16. Easterby-Smith, M, Thorpe, R and Lowe, R. 1991. Management research: An introduction, London: Sage. 17. Fielden, SL, Davidson, MJ, Dawe, AJ and Makin, PJ. 2003. Factors inhibiting the economic growth of female owned small businesses in the North West of England. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 10(2): 152–66. 18. Gatewood, EJ, Shaver, KG, Powers, JB and Gartner, WB. 2002. Entrepreneurial expectancy, task effort, and performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(2): 187–206. 19. Grönlund, A. 2007. More control, less conflict? Job demand-control, gender and work-family conflict. Gender, Work and Organization, 14(5): 476–97. 20. Guba, EG and Lincoln, YS. 1994. “Competing paradigms in qualitative research”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin, NK and Lincoln, YS. 105–17. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 21. Guillaumne, C and Pochic, S. 2007. What would you sacrifice? Access to the top management and the work-life balance. Gender, Work and Organisation, 16(1): 14–36. 22. Hakim, C. 2003. A new approach to explaining fertility patterns: Preference theory. Population and Development Review, 29(3): 349–74. 23. Hampton, A, Cooper, SY and McGowan, P. 2009. Female entrepreneurial networks and networking activity in technology-based ventures: An exploratory study. International Small Business Journal, 27(2): 193–214. 24. Hart, M. 2007. Global entrepreneurship monitor: Northern Ireland, Belfast and London: Invest NI and London Business School. 25. Hirschman, EC. 1986. Humanistic inquiry in marketing research: Philosophy, method and criteria. Journal of Marketing Research, 23(August): 237–49. 26. Hisrich, R and Brush, CG. 1985. “Women and minority entrepreneurs: A comparative analysis”. In Frontiers of entrepreneurial research, Edited by: Hornaday, JA, Shils, EB, Timmons, JA and Vesper, KH. 566–86. Cambridge, MA: Babson College. 27. Knouse, SB and Webb, SC. 2001. Virtual networking for women and minorities. Career Development International, 6(4): 226–8. 28. Lee-Gosselin, H and Grise, J. 1990. Are women owner-managers challenging our definitions of entrepreneurship? An in-depth study. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(4–5): 423–33. 29. Lewis, P. 2006. The quest for invisibility: Female entrepreneurs and the masculine norm of entrepreneurship. Gender, Work and Organisation, 13(5): 453–69. 30. Longstreth, M, Stafford, K and Mauldin, T. 1987. Self-employed women and their families: Time use and socioeconomic characteristics. Journal of Small Business Management, 25(July): 30–7. 31. Marlow, S. 1997. Self employed women: New opportunities, old challenges. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 9(3): 199–210. 32. Marlow, S and Carter, S. 2004. Accounting for change: Professional status, gender disadvantage and self-employment. Women in Management Review, 19(1): 5–17. 33. Marlow, S and Strange, A. 1994. “Female entrepreneurs – success by whose standards?”. In Women in management: A developing presence, Edited by: Tanton, M. 172–84. London: Routledge. 34. Mattis, MC. 2004. Women entrepreneurs: Out from under the glass ceiling. Women in Management Review, 19(3): 154–63. 35. Mayer, H. 2006. “Economic trends and location patterns of women high-tech entrepreneurs”. In Frontiers of entrepreneurship research, Edited by: Zacharakis, A, Alvarez, S, Davidsson, P, iet, J, George, G, Kurato, DK, Mason, C, Maula, M, Minniti, M, Sarasvathy, S, Shepherd, DA, Westhead, P, Wiklund, MJ, Wright, M and Zahra, SA. 298–309. Wellesley, MA: Babson College. 36. Mayrhofer, W, Meyer, M, Schiffinger, M and Schmidt, A. 2008. The influence of family responsibilities, career fields and gender on career success: An empirical study. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(3): 292–323. 37. Merriam, SB. 1988. Case study research in education: A qualitative approach, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 38. Miles, MB and Huberman, AM. 1994. Qualitative data analysis, New York: Sage. 39. Morris, B. 2002. Trophy husbands. Fortune, 14(October): 79–98. 40. Neuman, WL. 1997. Social research methods, London: Allyn and Bacon. 41. O’Reilly, M and Hart, M. 2003. Global entrepreneurship monitor, Northern Ireland, Belfast and London: Invest NI and London Business School. 42. Parasuraman, S and Simmers, CA. 2001. Type of employment, work-family conflicts and well-being: A comparative study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22: 551–68. 43. Reynolds, PD, Bygrave, W, Autio, E, Cox, LW and Hay, M. 2004. Global entrepreneurship monitor 2003: Executive report, Babson College/Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: London Business School. 44. Richards, TJ and Richards, L. 1994. “Using computers in qualitative research”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin, NK and Lincoln, YS. 445–62. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage. 45. Robertson, M, Collins, A, Medira, N and Slater, J. 2003. Barriers to start-up and their effect on aspirant entrepreneurs. Education + Training, 45(6): 308–16. 46. Robinson, S and Stubberud, HA. 2009. Sources of advice in entrepreneurship: Gender differences in business owners’ social networks. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 13: 83–101. 47. Rouse, J and Kitching, J. 2006. Do enterprise support programmes leave women holding the baby?. Environment and Planning C, 24: 5–19. 48. Saltzein, AL, Ting, Y and Saltzein, GH. 2001. Work-family balance and job satisfaction: The impact of family-friendly policies on attitudes of federal government employees. Public Administration Review, 61(4): 452–67. 49. Schindehutte, M, Morris, M and Brennan, C. 2003. Entrepreneurs and motherhood: Impacts on their children in South Africa and the United States. Journal of Small Business Management, 41(1): 94–107. 50. Shelton, LM. 2006. Female entrepreneurs, work-family conflict, and venture performance: New insights into the work-family interface. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(2): 285–97. 51. Stevenson, L. 1990. Some methodological problems associated with researching women entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(4–5): 439–46. 52. Walker, EA and Webster, BJ. 2007. Gender, age and self-employment: Some things change, some stay the same. Women in Management Review, 22(2): 122–35. 53. Williams, DS. 2004. Effects of childcare activities on the duration of self-employment in Europe. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(5): 467–85. 54. Wilson, F, Marlino, D and Kickul, J. 2004. Our entrepreneurial future: Examining the diverse attitudes and motivations of teens across gender and ethnic identity. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 9(3): 177–97. 55. Winn, J. 2004. Entrepreneurship: Not an easy path to top management for women. Women in Management Review, 19(3): 143–53.

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N2 - Whilst some women are motivated to establish entrepreneurial ventures by factors which are similar to those of their male counterparts (including a desire for independence and financial gain), unlike the majority of men, a sizeable number choose entrepreneurship to balance work responsibilities and earning potential with domestic/familial commitments. Despite growing numbers of women citing flexibility and childcare obligations as strong motivations for starting a business relatively little attention has been paid to exploring their motivations, expectations and actual experiences of entrepreneurship, and the extent to which entrepreneurship really offers an improved work/family ‘balance’. This paper presents findings of exploratory, qualitative research conducted in Northern Ireland, which focused upon the entrepreneurial journeys of 14 women as they established and managed their ventures, whilst balancing domestic/familial demands. Drawing upon information-rich evidence from in-depth interviews, insights are presented into their motivations and expectations of what entrepreneurship would offer, and the realities of their experience.

AB - Whilst some women are motivated to establish entrepreneurial ventures by factors which are similar to those of their male counterparts (including a desire for independence and financial gain), unlike the majority of men, a sizeable number choose entrepreneurship to balance work responsibilities and earning potential with domestic/familial commitments. Despite growing numbers of women citing flexibility and childcare obligations as strong motivations for starting a business relatively little attention has been paid to exploring their motivations, expectations and actual experiences of entrepreneurship, and the extent to which entrepreneurship really offers an improved work/family ‘balance’. This paper presents findings of exploratory, qualitative research conducted in Northern Ireland, which focused upon the entrepreneurial journeys of 14 women as they established and managed their ventures, whilst balancing domestic/familial demands. Drawing upon information-rich evidence from in-depth interviews, insights are presented into their motivations and expectations of what entrepreneurship would offer, and the realities of their experience.

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