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Social constructionism and personal constructivism: getting the business owner's view on the role of sex and gender

Tagg, Stephen and Wilson, F. (2010) Social constructionism and personal constructivism: getting the business owner's view on the role of sex and gender. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 2 (1). pp. 68-82. ISSN 1756-6266

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While the entrepreneurship and small business research literature has tended to portray women as lesser than men in identifying the differences between them, little research has looked at how gender is construed in business ownership. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new focus, examining how male and female business owners construe each other. The research employs George Kelly's personal construct theory and repertory grids to examine the constructs associated with male and female business owners. It is found that there are many constructs used to describe business owners and, counter to predictions from some of the literature review, few differences between the way in which male and female business owners are construed. The paper offers explanations as to why so few differences are found. The sample is limited to just one area of Britain and the businesses had all been established in the last three years. This will influence the generalizability of the findings. This paper is able to offer research evidence to demonstrate that male and female business owners do not construe male and female business owners differently.