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Gender heterogeneity, entrepreneurial orientation and international diversification

Monica A. Zimmerman (Management Department, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)
Keith D. Brouthers (Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 23 March 2012



Although diversifying internationally appears to be beneficial, relatively few small and medium‐sized firms actually participate. Building on recent research exploring the international diversification of small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) the purpose of this paper is to examine the relation among ownership and management team gender heterogeneity, entrepreneurial orientation, and firm international diversity.


The authors' hypotheses were tested using data gathered from members of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a national (US) public policy organization that advocates for women in business.


Results indicate that top management team gender composition and entrepreneurial orientation are significantly related to international diversification but that ownership gender composition is not. The authors found that team entrepreneurial orientation may be useful when teams are more homogeneous on relations‐oriented characteristics such as gender.


The paper's findings suggest that women‐only management teams high in entrepreneurial orientation are more likely to pursue international diversification, dispelling the idea that international diversification is more difficult for women.



Zimmerman, M.A. and Brouthers, K.D. (2012), "Gender heterogeneity, entrepreneurial orientation and international diversification", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 20-43.



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