By adding an alter perspective to the traditional ego perspective on gender differences in entrepreneurial networks, the purpose of this study is to investigate whether involvement of family members who are not partners and exchange of emotional support is associated not only with the gender of the entrepreneurs but also the gender of entrepreneurs' alters.
Building on homophily theory, relational theory and social support theory, three hypotheses are developed and tested on a representative sample of Danish entrepreneurs and their alters. A hierarchical logistic regression approach is applied.
It is found that female focal entrepreneurs are more likely to involve female and family members who are not partners. Furthermore, it was found that female focal entrepreneurs would more likely involve female family members while male focal entrepreneurs would more likely involve male family members. And finally, it was found that females and males are equally likely to receive emotional support while females are more likely to provide it.
An important lesson from this study is that both focal actors and alters have an essential role in the entrepreneurial act and that females and males perform different roles and functions as both the focal entrepreneurs and as alters.
This study is unique in the sense that it adds an alter perspective to the traditional ego perspective on entrepreneurial networks.
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