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Title: Investigating the contextual embeddedness of female entrepreneurship : a feminist and institutional approach
Author: Hatoum, Hala
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 7811
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2019
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the contextual embeddedness of entrepreneurship on female entrepreneurs. The contextual embeddedness of entrepreneurship in the social and geo-cultural environments has been consistently documented and societal perceived gender differences play a salient role in the development of female entrepreneurship. Moreover, there is an increase in emphasis on institutions as strong influencers of entrepreneurial engagement given their strong influence on the culture, beliefs and values of individuals and their views of society. The contribution that institutional theory brings to the analysis of the current knowledge of the state of entrepreneurship is even more significant in the case of female entrepreneurs who, according to the literature, are constantly disadvantaged and continually faced with significant obstacles due to their institutional setting. Also, investigating female entrepreneurship from a feminist perspective allows for attaining more profound insights by conducting the analysis both through the views of the female entrepreneurs as well as for them. Accordingly, this thesis combines an institutional gender-aware approach and a feminist perspective simultaneously to advance a comprehensive framework for the study of female entrepreneurship. In particular, the newly developed framework adopted for this thesis, the Institutional and Feminist Female Entrepreneurship Model (IFFEM) investigates the effects of institutional factors on female entrepreneurship at the meso-environment, macro-environment and motherhood levels and interprets their influence through a feminist standpoint allowing for more in-depth insights from the perspective of the female entrepreneurs. The investigation takes place in the Kingdom of Bahrain due to its standing as a representative Arab nation that lies in the heart of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the larger Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as a response to the lack of research on female entrepreneurship in this region. The study is conducted using qualitative methodology via in-depth semi-structured interviews with a sample of 44 female entrepreneurs approached through a snowball sampling technique based on initial personal acquaintances. The sample is representative of locals and expats, owners of new startups, established enterprises, home-based businesses and electronic businesses. The findings highlight five main themes and several subthemes that influence female entrepreneurship at the meso-environment, macro-environment and motherhood levels. The main identified themes are, at the macro-environment 1) regulatory setting and 2) socio-economic conditions; at the meso-environment, 3) initiatives, and at the motherhood level, 4) motherhood ideals and 5) motherhood environs. In addition, the IFFEM model reveals additional interesting results that focus on the personal insights and perspectives of the female entrepreneurs, thereby confirming the appropriateness and relevance of the model as a tool for investigating female entrepreneurship. The thesis concludes with useful recommendations at the practical and theoretical levels for the study of female entrepreneurship.
Supervisor: Mordi, C. ; Eldabi, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available