Are entrepreneurs who we think they are : perceptions of the attitudes of male and female entrepreneurs

Watton, Sharon E. (1999) Are entrepreneurs who we think they are : perceptions of the attitudes of male and female entrepreneurs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Attitudes of men and women entrepreneurs have not been investigated extensively in past research, but may have implications for understanding the entrepreneurial experience, particularly for women entrepreneurs. The present pair of studies investigated the attitudes of men and women entrepreneurs and looked at the perceptions people have of entrepreneurs in terms of their attitudes. In the first study, a written questionnaire containing attitude items from three topic areas—business issues, career and family issues, and social issues—was distributed to a sample (N=137) of entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Analyses revealed that men and women entrepreneurs could be distinguished from their non-entrepreneur counterparts by their greater endorsement of entrepreneurial business issues and their endorsement of feminist career-family integration. Men entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs held more traditional views of gender roles than did women entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, while liberalism did not distinguish the groups from each other. In the second study, undergraduate students (N=244) were asked to judge the attitudes of men and women entrepreneurs in relation to either an entrepreneur of the other gender, or to members of their gender in general, on the same attitude items used in Study 1. People perceived men and women entrepreneurs to be more entrepreneurial in their attitudes than men and women in general. Men entrepreneurs were viewed to hold more feminist views of career-family integration than men in general, while female entrepreneurs were expected to hold feminist attitudes regardless of the comparison group. Entrepreneurs were seen as less traditional than non- entrepreneurs overall, but women entrepreneurs were viewed as less traditional in their attitudes than both targets, especially by women. Participants did not expect the groups to differ in liberalism. The accuracy of these attitude perceptions is discussed in relation to the actual attitudes of entrepreneurs. Overall, these studies indicate that men and women entrepreneurs hold entrepreneurial attitudes toward business issues and are less positive about balancing career and family than other men and women. They are perceived by others to be entrepreneurial in their attitudes, but to also have a positive view of career-family integration, and an untraditional view of gender roles and values. It may be valuable for future research to look at more specific and detailed attitude measures, or investigate the attitude perceptions other groups of people, such as business consultants and bank officers, hold with respect to entrepreneurs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/726
Item ID: 726
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 56-63
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Businessmen--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's Metropolitan Area--Attitudes; Businesswomen--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's Metropolitan Area--Attitudes

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