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Business-family interface and the performance of women entrepreneurs: The moderating effect of economic development

Dianne H.B. Welsh (Bryan School of Business and Economics, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Eugene Kaciak (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada) (Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland)
Esra Memili (Bryan School of Business and Economics, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Caroline Minialai (CESEM HEM, Rabat, Morocco)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 16 April 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between women entrepreneurs’ firm performance and two dimensions (enrichment and interference) of the business-family interface (BFI) in the moderating context of the level of economic development in two emerging countries – Morocco and Turkey. The enrichment perspective was operationalized as family instrumental (financial) and affective (moral) support, while interference was operationalized as gender-related personal problems.

Design/methodology/approach

The study drew upon the work-family interface (WFI) theory from the family embeddedness perspective in the context of institutional economics. In Morocco, a purposive sample of 116 women entrepreneurs completed a self-administered questionnaire using field collection, mail, and phone surveying methods. In Turkey, 147 women entrepreneurs completed the questionnaire online and through personal contacts in business organizations.

Findings

The findings indicated a positive relationship of family financial support with business performance of female entrepreneurs in Morocco, a less economically advanced country. However, family moral support is related to better firm performance in Turkey, a more advanced economy. Gender-related personal problems of women entrepreneurs appear to hamper their business performance in Turkey; while in Morocco, the performance of women entrepreneurs seems to improve in the face of such impediments.

Practical implications

The results provide initial evidence that female entrepreneurs benefit from the linkages of family-to-business enrichment in different ways, depending on the country’s level of economic development. In less economically developed countries, women entrepreneurs benefit more from instrumental rather than affective components of the enrichment dimension of the BFI. Conversely, in more economically advanced countries, female entrepreneurs benefit more from affective rather than the instrumental elements of this dimension. Likewise, the components of the interference dimension of the BFI affect female entrepreneurs differently depending on the economic development of the countries. Women in the less-developed country of Morocco are less impeded by their personal problems compared to their counterparts in Turkey, a more developed economy. Actually, Moroccan women entrepreneurs improved their business performance when facing obstacles, most likely due to their increased inner strength and resilience acquired when battling adversarial institutional conditions.

Originality/value

The present study makes three unique contributions to the entrepreneurship literature. First, the study links the two BFI dimensions (enrichment and interference) to firm performance with an exclusive focus on female business owners. Second, within the construct of enrichment, the study employs both family instrumental and emotional support. Third, the study shows that the country’s level of economic development moderates the relationships between the BFI dimensions and firm performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr Emire Bozkurt for her data collection support.

Citation

Welsh, D.H.B., Kaciak, E., Memili, E. and Minialai, C. (2018), "Business-family interface and the performance of women entrepreneurs: The moderating effect of economic development", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 330-349. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJoEM-03-2017-0095

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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