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Gender differences and business model experimentation in European SMEs

Carolina Lopez-Nicolas (Department of Management and Finance, University of Murcia , Murcia, Spain)
Shahrokh Nikou (Department of Information Technologies, Åbo Akademi University , Turku, Finland)
Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo (Department of Marketing, University of Murcia , Murcia, Spain)
Harry Bouwman (Department of Technology, Delft University of Technology , Delft, The Netherlands)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 16 March 2020

Issue publication date: 19 June 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation capabilities as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, using a unique data set of 444 European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the authors draw on various theoretical perspectives to devise a structural equation model that examines BM experimentation as a step towards business model innovation (BMI) as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance. Potential differences are examined between female-owned and non-female-owned businesses with regard to hypothesized relations.

Findings

Multi-group analysis results reveal that drivers of BM experimentation and the paths linking BM experimentation to overall firm performance are different for female owners in comparison to male owners.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Practical implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Originality/value

Despite the increasing number of papers focussing on the relationship between BM and firm performance, the focus on female entrepreneurship, gender differences and BMI, more specifically the process of BMI as BM experimentation, is relatively rare.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study leading to these results has received funding from data to intelligence (D2I) Programme and the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Programme (2014-2020) ENVISION under grant agreement 645791. The content herein reflects only the authors’ view. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Citation

Lopez-Nicolas, C., Nikou, S., Molina-Castillo, F.-J. and Bouwman, H. (2020), "Gender differences and business model experimentation in European SMEs", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 1205-1219. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-05-2019-0194

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited