Business-family interface and the performance of women entrepreneurs: The moderating effect of economic development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esra Memili, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
Dianne H.B. Welsh, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between women entrepreneurs’ firm performance and two dimensions (enrichment and interference) of the business-family interface (BFI) in the moderating context of the level of economic development in two emerging countries – Morocco and Turkey. The enrichment perspective was operationalized as family instrumental (financial) and affective (moral) support, while interference was operationalized as gender-related personal problems.Design/methodology/approach:The study drew upon the work-family interface (WFI) theory from the family embeddedness perspective in the context of institutional economics. In Morocco, a purposive sample of 116 women entrepreneurs completed a self-administered questionnaire using field collection, mail, and phone surveying methods. In Turkey, 147 women entrepreneurs completed the questionnaire online and through personal contacts in business organizations.FindingsThe findings indicated a positive relationship of family financial support with business performance of female entrepreneurs in Morocco, a less economically advanced country. However, family moral support is related to better firm performance in Turkey, a more advanced economy. Gender-related personal problems of women entrepreneurs appear to hamper their business performance in Turkey; while in Morocco, the performance of women entrepreneurs seems to improve in the face of such impediments.Practical implications:The results provide initial evidence that female entrepreneurs benefit from the linkages of family-to-business enrichment in different ways, depending on the country’s level of economic development. In less economically developed countries, women entrepreneurs benefit more from instrumental rather than affective components of the enrichment dimension of the BFI. Conversely, in more economically advanced countries, female entrepreneurs benefit more from affective rather than the instrumental elements of this dimension. Likewise, the components of the interference dimension of the BFI affect female entrepreneurs differently depending on the economic development of the countries. Women in the less-developed country of Morocco are less impeded by their personal problems compared to their counterparts in Turkey, a more developed economy. Actually, Moroccan women entrepreneurs improved their business performance when facing obstacles, most likely due to their increased inner strength and resilience acquired when battling adversarial institutional conditions.Originality/value:The present study makes three unique contributions to the entrepreneurship literature. First, the study links the two BFI dimensions (enrichment and interference) to firm performance with an exclusive focus on female business owners. Second, within the construct of enrichment, the study employs both family instrumental and emotional support. Third, the study shows that the country’s level of economic development moderates the relationships between the BFI dimensions and firm performance.

Additional Information

International Journal of Emerging Markets, 13(2), 330-349
Language: English
Date: 2018
Economic development, Firm performance, Women entrepreneurs, Family support, Morocco/Turkey, Personal problems

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