The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the different perceptions of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of females compared to those of their male counterparts. EO and its links to performance are examined at the level of both the individual and the firm.
Multiple linear regression analyses of a data set with 301 employees in different industries reveal significant differences between genders.
EO has a positive impact on performance at both individual and firm levels of analysis. Females tend to perceive their individual EO as lower than males, but their self-evaluated work performance is higher than that of males. The firm’s EO is also perceived differently by men and by women, but the perceptions of firm’s performance are similar.
The results draw attention to the differences between individuals when they evaluate firm-level constructs like EO. While the sample is based on a small number of firms, the findings suggest that EO is neither pervasive throughout the firm nor gender-neutral.
The different gender-related perceptions should be kept in mind when promoting entrepreneurially oriented behaviour within organizations. A strong focus on EO in entrepreneurship policy or education may discourage women.
So far, multi-level organizational interrelationships have been substantially neglected with respect to the gender dimension.
Katharina Fellnhofer would like to thank the Bavarian programme to promote equal opportunities for women in research and teaching – original programme’s name in German “Bayerisches Programm zur Förderung der Chancengleichheit für Frauen in Forschung und Lehre 2015” – to support this research project.
Fellnhofer, K., Puumalainen, K. and Sjögrén, H. (2016), "Entrepreneurial orientation and performance – are sexes equal?", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 346-374. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-12-2015-0286Download as .RIS
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