Entrepreneurial learning: gender differences

Ekanem, Ignatius U. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5678-3954 (2015) Entrepreneurial learning: gender differences. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 21 (4) . pp. 557-577. ISSN 1355-2554 [Article] (doi:10.1108/IJEBR-08-2014-0146)

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (860kB)


Purpose - This study aims to explore the differences in the entrepreneurial experiences between male and female entrepreneurs. The study investigates what entrepreneurs learn, how they learn, who they learn from and what prompted such learning.

Design/methodology/approach - The data under analysis is drawn from a qualitative study which involves in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted longitudinally as a case study in ten firms over a period of five years. The case study findings are analysed and discussed using a learning framework.

Findings - The findings suggest some differences in the learning experiences between male and female entrepreneurs. Whilst male entrepreneurs were more likely to challenge and depart from industry norms, thus utilising double-loop learning process, female entrepreneurs were more likely to engage in ‘routinised’ learning which enhances confidence, thus adopting the single-loop learning process.

Research limitations/implications - The main implication of the study for policy-makers is that unique training, networking and support programmes should be designed for women entrepreneurs. The study is limited to the extent that it can be generalised to a wider population of small businesses.

Originality/value - To date, there have only been speculations and little understanding about whether there are differences in the entrepreneurial learning experiences between men and women. Thus, policy-makers have little guidance as to whether or not unique training and support programmes should be designed for female entrepreneurs. The study is novel in so far as it was conducted longitudinally over a period of five years to sufficiently follow the learning behavioural pattern of entrepreneurs in different business sectors.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): entrepreneurial learning, learning experience, learning process, gender, qualitative methodology
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 16050
Notes on copyright: This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Entrepreneurial learning: gender differences", forthcoming/published in the journal "International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research" available via the journal site at: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-08-2014-0146. This article is © Emerald Publishing Limited and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Ignatius Ekanem
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 13:37
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 08:17
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/16050

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.