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Failure or voluntary exit? Reassessing the female underperformance hypothesis

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  • Justo, Rachida
  • DeTienne, Dawn R.
  • Sieger, Philipp

Abstract

We reevaluate the female underperformance hypothesis by challenging the assumption that female-owned ventures are more likely to fail. Instead of equating exit with failure, we draw on exit literature and feminist theories to argue that female entrepreneurs are actually more likely than males to exit voluntarily. We argue for further gender differences by using an even more fine-grained conceptualization of entrepreneurial exit (failure, exit for personal reasons, and exit for other professional/financial opportunities). Post-hoc analyses also point to within-gender heterogeneity depending on family status. A sample probe of 219 Spanish entrepreneurs who had exited their business supports our overall reasoning.

Suggested Citation

  • Justo, Rachida & DeTienne, Dawn R. & Sieger, Philipp, 2015. "Failure or voluntary exit? Reassessing the female underperformance hypothesis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 775-792.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:30:y:2015:i:6:p:775-792
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2015.04.004
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