Exploring the Possible Influence of Women’s Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) on Their Decision to Opt Out from Organizational Career to Self-Employment

  • Edawati Mohamad Hipiny
  • Farida Abdul Halim


The purpose of this study is to explore the possible influence of women’s entrepreneurial orientations (EO) on their decision to opt out from organizational careers to self-employment. It examines how women account for these transitions, reasons for opting for self-employment and experiences of self-employment. This research employs the qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews as the main data collection tool. The study revealed that the entrepreneurial orientations of the women under study are commonly associated with the generally successful entrepreneurial behaviour of risk-taking, creative, proactive, competitive, aggressive and confidence. This suggests that enterprises and their women owners may benefit from efforts to increase their levels of entrepreneurial orientation in order to survive the dynamic, fast-paced and complex business environment characterized by shorter life cycles, globalization, and continuous improvements in technology. Hence for the women under study with higher entrepreneurial orientation levels, their transitions from their organizational career to self-employment or small business ownership are seen as attractive career moves.

 Keywords:  Women’s careers, entrepreneurial orientation, opting out


Ahl, H. (2004). The scientific reproduction of gender inequality: A discourse analysis of research texts on women's entrepreneurship. Liber.

Ahl, H. (2006). Why research on women entrepreneurs needs new directions. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 30(5), 595-621.

Apospori, E., Papalexandris, N., & Galanaki, E. (2005). Entrepreneurial and professional CEOs: Differences in motive and responsibility profile. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(2), 141-162.

Benz, M., & Frey, B. S. (2008). Being independent is a great thing: Subjective evaluations of self‐employment and hierarchy. Economica, 75(298), 362-383.

Bounds, G. (2007, July 31). Enterprise: Almond business expands it is identity to kick-start growth; revenue shoots up thanks to move to popular peanuts. Wall Street Journal, p. B10.

Bradley, H. (2007). Gender. Cambridge: Polity.

Bruni, A., Gherardi, S., & Poggio, B. (2004). Entrepreneur-mentality, gender and the study of women entrepreneurs. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 17(3), 256-268.

Calas, M. B., Smircich, L., & Bourne, K. A. (2009). Extending the boundaries: Reframing “entrepreneurship as social change” through feminist perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 34(3), 552-569.

Carter, S., Shaw, E., Lam, W., & Wilson, F. (2007). Gender, entrepreneurship, and bank lending: The criteria and processes used by bank loan officers in assessing applications. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(3), 427-444.

Choo, S., & Wong, M. (2006). Entrepreneurial intention: triggers and barriers to new venture creations in Singapore. Singapore management review, 28(2), 47.

Duberley, J., & Carrigan, M. (2013). The career identities of ‘mumpreneurs’: Women’s experiences of combining enterprise and motherhood. International Small Business Journal, 31(6), 629-651.

Gill, R., & Ganesh, S. (2007). Empowerment, constraint, and the entrepreneurial self: A study of white women entrepreneurs. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 35(3), 268-293.

Goffee, R., & Scase, R. (1985). Women in charge: the experiences of women entrepreneurs. London: Allen & Irwin.

Halal, W. E. (1996). The rise of the knowledge entrepreneur. The Futurist, 30(6), 13.

Heckscher, C. C. (1996). White-collar blues: Management loyalties in an age of corporate restructuring. Basic Books.

Jennings, J. E., & Brush, C. G. (2013). Research on women entrepreneurs: challenges to (and from) the broader entrepreneurship literature?. Academy of Management Annals, 7(1), 663-715.

Kolvereid, L. (1996). Prediction of employment status choice intentions. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 21(1), 47-58.

Kuratko, D. F. (2005). The emergence of entrepreneurship education: Development, trends, and challenges. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 29(5), 577-598.

Lumpkin, G. T., & Dess, G. G. (1996). Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Academy of management Review, 21(1), 135-172.

Mallon, M., & Cohen, L. (2001). Time for a change? Women's accounts of the move from organizational careers to self‐employment. British Journal of Management, 12(3), 217-230.

Marlow, S., & Carter, S. (2004). Accounting for change: Professional status, gender disadvantage and self-employment. Women in Management Review, 19(1), 5-17.

Marlow, S., Henry, C., & Carter, S. (2009). Exploring the impact of gender upon women's business ownership: Introduction. International Small Business Journal, 27(2), 139-148.

Marlow, S., & McAdam, M. (2013). Gender and entrepreneurship: Advancing debate and challenging myths; exploring the mystery of the under-performing female entrepreneur. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 19(1), 114-124.

Marlow, S., & Swail, J. (2014). Gender, risk and finance: why can't a woman be more like a man?. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 26(1-2), 80-96.

Marshall, J. (1995). Women managers moving on: Exploring career and life choices. Thomson Learning.

Mattis, M. C. (2004). Women entrepreneurs: out from under the glass ceiling. Women in Management Review, 19(3), 154-163.

McLeod, J. (2003). Doing counselling research. London: Sage Publication.

Melamed, T. (1995). Barriers to women's career success: Human capital, career choices, structural determinants, or simply sex discrimination. Applied psychology, 44(4), 295-314.

Melamed, T. (1996). Validation of a stage model of career success. Applied Psychology, 45(1), 35-65.

Mirchandani, K. (1999). Feminist insight on gendered work: New directions in research on women and entrepreneurship. Gender, Work & Organization, 6(4), 224-235.

Morris, M. H. (1998). Entrepreneurial intensity: Sustainable advantages for individuals, organizations, and societies. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2009). Business model generation: A Handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers: Self-published.

Pitt, L. F., & Kannemeyer, R. (2000). The role of adaptation in microenterprise development: A marketing perspective. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 5(2), 137.

Savickas, M. L. (2005). The theory and practice of career construction. Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work, 1, 42-70.

Still, L. V., & Guerin, C. D. (1991). Barriers facing self-employed women: the Australian experience. Women in Management Review, 6(6).

Still, L. V., & Walker, E. A. (2006). The self-employed woman owner and her business: An Australian profile. Women in Management Review, 21(4), 294-310.

Walker, E. A., & Webster, B. J. (2007). Gender, age and self-employment: some things change, some stay the same. Women in Management Review, 22(2), 122-135.

Ferrier, W. J. (2001). Navigating the competitive landscape: The drivers and consequences of competitive aggressiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 44(4), 858-877.

Zimmerman, M. A., & Brouthers, K. D. (2012). Gender heterogeneity, entrepreneurial orientation and international diversification. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 4(1), 20-43.

How to Cite
Mohamad Hipiny, E., & Abdul Halim, F. (2018). Exploring the Possible Influence of Women’s Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) on Their Decision to Opt Out from Organizational Career to Self-Employment. Journal of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, 3(2), 14-27. https://doi.org/10.33736/jcshd.785.2018