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Title: Differences between male and female entrepreneurship in the Saudi Arabian context : evidence from Riyadh
Author: Alessa, Adlah A.
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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Saudi Arabia has a unique culture and society, which has influence on the way entrepreneurship is perceived and experienced. This study, one of the first to explore entrepreneurship within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has two overarching aims. The first aim is to explore the perceptions and experiences of male and female entrepreneurs and the second aim is to explore the attitudes and intentions of male and female employees towards entrepreneurship and new venture creation. In exploring both the experiences of entrepreneurs and the attitudes of employees, the study deployed two different research methodologies. Firstly, exploratory in depth interviews were conducted with ten Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs (five male and five female). This data, which was analysed inductively, provided insights into the behaviours and perspectives of each entrepreneur and, at the same time, observations were conducted on the entrepreneurs themselves and their organizations. Secondly, Saudi Arabian employees were surveyed to elicit their attitudes and intentions towards entrepreneurship and new venture creation. Using stratified sampling, 410 usable questionnaire responses were received (205 women and 205 men). Results suggest that Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs exhibit similar motivations to those of entrepreneurs in other countries' contexts; however, their perceived obstacles included a culturally specific issue, the 'Saudization' of the workforce. Female entrepreneurs were additionally concerned about losing their money, being afraid of society, and feeling insecure. These reasons may partially explain why wealthy and well educated Saudi women tend to leave their wealth in banks rather than investing in business ownership. Among both men and women, there was a sense of confusion about matters of regulation and legality; women entrepreneurs, in particular, were unaware of their legal rights and were bound by social convention. The survey of Saudi Arabian employees suggested that men tended to have a greater interest in entrepreneurship and more often wanted to quit their job in order to start a business. Male employees also had greater levels of self-efficacy towards starting a business, confidence in performing effectively as entrepreneurs and being sufficiently responsible to be their own boss. By studying both men and women and entrepreneurs and employees, the study provides new empirical and comparative evidence drawn from diverse parts of Saudi society. In so doing, the study contributes new knowledge with regards to how Saudi Arabian society, culture, policies and the economy influence attitudes, perceptions and experiences of entrepreneurship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available