Who is more likely to walk the talk? The symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions by gender and work status

Patricia H. Thornton*, Kim Klyver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Loose coupling as an antecedent to symbolic management is rarely if ever studied at the individual level of analysis. Yet, individuals are central agents in starting and developing new businesses. Inspired by cultural and institutional theory, this study examines the cognitive coupling and symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions of individuals as a consequence of the cultural legitimacy of entrepreneurship in society. The research design first replicates the well-established positive relationship between high self-efficacy and high entrepreneurial intentions in a heterogenous sample and then demonstrates the interaction effects with cultural legitimacy and domain independent subgroups, gender and work status. Using random sample survey data from 68 countries findings show that men and the employed are more likely to loosely couple and symbolically manage entrepreneurial intentions to found a new business than women and the unemployed. Women and the unemployed are more likely to walk the talk. This study contributes to the micro-foundations of cultural entrepreneurship and the ‘hypocrisy story’ in neo-institutional and world society theory with implications for entrepreneurship policy on gender and work status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovation: Management, Policy and Practice
Volume21
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)102-127
ISSN1447-9338
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Industry
Gender and work
Entrepreneurial intention
New business
Entrepreneurship
Legitimacy
Levels of analysis
Microfoundations
Survey data
Research design
Institutional theory
Loose coupling
Cultural theory
Sample survey
Self-efficacy
Entrepreneurship policy
Interaction effects
Hypocrisy

Keywords

  • cultural entrepreneurship
  • gender
  • institutional theory
  • Loose coupling
  • symbolic management
  • work status
  • world society

Cite this

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title = "Who is more likely to walk the talk? The symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions by gender and work status",
abstract = "Loose coupling as an antecedent to symbolic management is rarely if ever studied at the individual level of analysis. Yet, individuals are central agents in starting and developing new businesses. Inspired by cultural and institutional theory, this study examines the cognitive coupling and symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions of individuals as a consequence of the cultural legitimacy of entrepreneurship in society. The research design first replicates the well-established positive relationship between high self-efficacy and high entrepreneurial intentions in a heterogenous sample and then demonstrates the interaction effects with cultural legitimacy and domain independent subgroups, gender and work status. Using random sample survey data from 68 countries findings show that men and the employed are more likely to loosely couple and symbolically manage entrepreneurial intentions to found a new business than women and the unemployed. Women and the unemployed are more likely to walk the talk. This study contributes to the micro-foundations of cultural entrepreneurship and the ‘hypocrisy story’ in neo-institutional and world society theory with implications for entrepreneurship policy on gender and work status.",
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Who is more likely to walk the talk? The symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions by gender and work status. / Thornton, Patricia H.; Klyver, Kim.

In: Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, Vol. 21, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 102-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Klyver, Kim

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AB - Loose coupling as an antecedent to symbolic management is rarely if ever studied at the individual level of analysis. Yet, individuals are central agents in starting and developing new businesses. Inspired by cultural and institutional theory, this study examines the cognitive coupling and symbolic management of entrepreneurial intentions of individuals as a consequence of the cultural legitimacy of entrepreneurship in society. The research design first replicates the well-established positive relationship between high self-efficacy and high entrepreneurial intentions in a heterogenous sample and then demonstrates the interaction effects with cultural legitimacy and domain independent subgroups, gender and work status. Using random sample survey data from 68 countries findings show that men and the employed are more likely to loosely couple and symbolically manage entrepreneurial intentions to found a new business than women and the unemployed. Women and the unemployed are more likely to walk the talk. This study contributes to the micro-foundations of cultural entrepreneurship and the ‘hypocrisy story’ in neo-institutional and world society theory with implications for entrepreneurship policy on gender and work status.

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