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What are the interpersonal antecedents of women’s network satisfaction? A study conducted with French women entrepreneurs

Maryline Bourdil (Montpellier Research in Management, Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France)
Mickael Géraudel (Centre for Research in Economics and Management (CREA), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 6 June 2016




The purpose of this study is to determine whether women entrepreneurs are satisfied with belonging to a women’s network, as this issue is crucial for network performance and legitimacy.


The authors tested the hypotheses on a sample of 127 French women entrepreneurs who belonged to women’s networks using multiple regression analysis.


The authors showed that these women entrepreneurs were satisfied when they developed strong ties and when cliques in the network were limited. Education had a negative effect: the higher the educational level, the less satisfaction with their networks the women reported.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was small and composed only of women entrepreneurs who were members of women’s networks and not women who had left them.

Practical implications

The survey findings suggest ways that managers can optimize network satisfaction to keep current members while continuing to add new ones: create an environment with no cliques where members can develop strong ties. This means connecting members with similar values or status and common interests, while making sure that cliques do not develop.


To the authors’ knowledge, satisfaction with professional women’s networks has never been studied. The authors’ highlight the role of strong ties in these networks and identify the contingent effect of cliques.



Bourdil, M. and Géraudel, M. (2016), "What are the interpersonal antecedents of women’s network satisfaction? A study conducted with French women entrepreneurs", Gender in Management, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 266-280.



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