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Imitation och omtolkning: Entreprenörers identifieringsprocesser ur ett genusperspektiv
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study deals with the issue of entrepreneurship and gender. A central part is to understand how entrepreneurial opportunities and identities are constructed and linked to each other. The aim is to increase our understanding about entrepreneurial processes, identification and role creation. A gender structure is a premise and it is ar-gued that norms, values and meanings in society affect women that are entrepreneurs in the sense that they are seen as “the other” and are compared to a male norm. Entre-preneurship is described as opportunity construction rather than opportunity recogni-tion or opportunity finding. The empirical context is drawn from interviews with 15 en-trepreneurs, all women from the county of Gävleborg in Sweden, who have left a job in the public sector in order to start new private ventures.

The main contribution of this study is an increased understanding of entrepreneu-rial identification processes, from a gender perspective. One part of these processes is resistance that the entrepreneurs meet and practice. This study identifies the strong presence of a male discourse and describes how women, who are entrepreneurs deals with that. It is argued that there is a need to open up the concept entrepreneurship, to a more gender neutral one, in order to make it easier for women who are entrepreneurs to identify themselves as entrepreneurs and not just ‘female entrepreneurs’. An empiri-cal contribution is a description of how different and contradictory identification proc-esses are going on at the same time. Marginalization and identification processes illus-trates that if entrepreneurs feel that they are not taken seriously in their attempt to cre-ate business practices that fit with their preferences, a struggle for recognition emerges. This study shows that processes of marginalization and role creation are intertwined in different ways that affect women who are entrepreneurs. A methodological contribu-tion is the deconstruction of interviews in order to understand how processes of imita-tion and reinterpretation exists as simultaneous and parallel events.

The findings are presented in five recurrent themes: break away, identification, po-larization, marginalization and resistance. The themes are used in order to increase the understanding about how the entrepreneurs create contexts for their ventures and how this context can be understood as an arena where entrepreneurial opportunities are constructed. Three aspects, all related to gender, of resistance are described; resistance that the entrepreneurs have met during the time as employees in the public sector, re-sistance that the entrepreneurs have met during the process of starting their ventures and finally, resistance that the entrepreneurs practice in meetings with male norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2009. , 267 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 0346-8291
Keyword [en]
Entrepreneurship, Gender, Identification, Social Construction
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1973ISBN: 978-91-7264-723-7OAI: diva2:142604
Public defence
2009-02-13, Hörsal C, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-01-23 Created: 2009-01-23Bibliographically approved

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