Special Issue "Women in Business"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Paola Demartini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Studies, University of Rome Tre, Rome, Italy
Interests: integrated reporting; social and sustainability accounting; intellectual capital accounting; entrepreneurship and small business; territorial social responsibility
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Francesca Maria Cesaroni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Urbino Carlo Bo, 61029 Urbino PU, Italy
Interests: gender in management; family business; small business and entrepreneurship
Prof. Paola Paoloni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Law and Economics of Productive Activities, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: female entrepreneurship; financial reporting; intellectual-based management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue will be prepared for Administrative Sciences that has, as a theme, women in business. We invite papers that focus on understanding the peculiarities of female entrepreneurs and managers in terms of propensity to innovation, approach to creativity, decision making, resilience, networking and co-creation.

The role of women in entrepreneurship, management and corporate governance is regarded as central to the development and welfare of economies. Since the early 1980s, there has been increased interest in women managers and entrepreneurs, often from an interdisciplinary approach combining, for example, sociology, psychology, management, and organizational studies and economics. Nowadays research into women in management and organizations is constantly and rapidly evolving (Paoloni and Demartini, 2016). For all the above reasons, the main goal of this call is to highlight how women create, process and share knowledge in their business activity through application and exploitation of novel creative ideas and solutions. Research on the way women face new business challenges within the organizations as entrepreneurs, owners, managers, as well as workers, can contribute to understand the new drivers affecting value creation dynamics in our knowledge-based society.

Specifically, contributions may focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Female entrepreneurship challenges in traditional and new sectors such as those of the green economy, big data management and social media
  • Women’s participation in the ownership, management and leadership of family business
  • Women in boards and their impact on boards dynamics and effectiveness
  • Women in management, relational capital and business networking
  • Diversity and Gender inequalities in the light of the new challenges of the fourth industrial revolution

Studies from different theoretical perspectives, research disciplines and with different methodological or interdisciplinary approaches are welcome.

Prof. Paola Demartini
Prof. Francesca Maria Cesaroni
Prof. Paola Paoloni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Why and How Women in Business Can Make Innovations in Light of the Sustainable Development Goals
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9030064 - 25 Aug 2019
Abstract
In 1999, Amartya Sen wrote, “…women are increasingly seen, by men as well as women, as active agents of change: the dynamic promoters of social transformations that can alter the lives of both women and men” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Women Founders in the Technology Industry: The Startup-Relatedness of the Decision to Become a Mother
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9020030 - 01 Apr 2019
Abstract
This paper explores the decision to become a mother among women in the technology industry, particularly if there is an “optimal context” regarding startup development (business stage and size). Eighteen interviews were conducted with an international sample of women founders and analyzed using [...] Read more.
This paper explores the decision to become a mother among women in the technology industry, particularly if there is an “optimal context” regarding startup development (business stage and size). Eighteen interviews were conducted with an international sample of women founders and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Findings suggest two sources of “mumpreneurs” in technology ventures: (1) women who created a startup while young and childless, postponing maternity until the business is “stable”; and (2) mothers who created a technology venture as a strategy to gain higher levels of flexibility and autonomy than they experienced in the corporate world. The first group is highly work-role salient, while the second is highly family-role salient. The results of this work contribute to theory development by revealing the “startup-relatedness” of family decisions by women founders in the technology industry. I offer recommendations of how accelerators can improve mentorship for women in high-growth technology ventures and unleash women’s potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
Open AccessArticle
Women’s Role in the Accounting Profession: A Comparative Study between Italy and Romania
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9010002 - 24 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Historically, in most countries, the accounting profession has always been male-dominated. Liberal professions such as lawyers, engineers, architects and doctors share the common trait of conservatism. The accounting profession, which is also a liberal profession, is no exception. Starting from this premise, this [...] Read more.
Historically, in most countries, the accounting profession has always been male-dominated. Liberal professions such as lawyers, engineers, architects and doctors share the common trait of conservatism. The accounting profession, which is also a liberal profession, is no exception. Starting from this premise, this work aims to provide, using a historical and institutional perspective, a picture of the past and current “journey” in the accountancy profession of women-chartered accountants and auditors in Italy and Romania. Drawing from the theoretical framework of gendered construction of the accounting profession, the paper points out issues affecting the presence, the degree of representativeness and the role (concerning the presence among the higher level of professional activities and governance positions) of women within the National Chartered Association and their continued under-representation in Italy and Romania. Findings contribute to providing insights useful to develop a future agenda and fill in the research gaps in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
It’s Always a Women’s Problem! Micro-Entrepreneurs, Work-Family Balance and Economic Crisis
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040074 - 24 Nov 2018
Abstract
Gender inequality in the division of family work is vastly corroborated and work–family balance is an important topic in the female entrepreneurship field of research. Even if work–family balance should be a necessity indiscriminately perceived by all women and men who have a [...] Read more.
Gender inequality in the division of family work is vastly corroborated and work–family balance is an important topic in the female entrepreneurship field of research. Even if work–family balance should be a necessity indiscriminately perceived by all women and men who have a paid job, it is a particularly pertinent issue for women, called to find equilibrium between work and family. This study analyses the situation of men and women entrepreneurs in order to investigate how the economic crisis affected the work–family balance. A survey was conducted on a sample of 218 men and women sole-proprietors. Findings show that the work–family balance of women entrepreneurs does not seem to have been particularly affected by the crisis. However, some differences between men and women remain. Concerning balance, as expected, only women stated that they personally take care of the house and family. Different perceptions of the crisis between men and women also emerged, as a consequence of gender stereotypes. Women entrepreneurs have greater difficulty in having an internal psychological balance of the double role than men, who are more involved in the implementation of external balance and focus on corporate and social provisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
Open AccessArticle
Innovative Female-Led Startups. Do Women in Business Underperform?
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040070 - 18 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The spur of innovative startups has provided an unprecedented opportunity for female entrepreneurship. However, the mainstream literature on startups has elaborated a gender performance gap hypothesis. Considering the speed of technological, social, and cultural changes that have taken place in this millennium, we [...] Read more.
The spur of innovative startups has provided an unprecedented opportunity for female entrepreneurship. However, the mainstream literature on startups has elaborated a gender performance gap hypothesis. Considering the speed of technological, social, and cultural changes that have taken place in this millennium, we wonder if this gap can still be found today, with particular reference to new technology-based ventures. A financial analysis has been conducted on a sample of innovative Italian startups, and the following variables have been used to assess the company’s success: (i) size, (ii) profitability, (iii) efficiency, (iv) financial structure, and (v) financial management. Our results reveal that as far as financial performance is concerned, innovative female-led startups do not lag behind male ones in terms of dimension, company profitability, efficiency, and financial management. However, findings confirmed, even for our sample, that female businesses raise, on average, a lower amount of financial resources in comparison to men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Adoption of Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB) by an Italian Municipality
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040068 - 03 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Over the past few decades, many governments throughout the world have promoted gender-responsive budgeting (GRB). With its focus on equality, accountability, transparency and participation in the policy-making process, GRB shares some relevant principles with public governance that call governments at national and subnational [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, many governments throughout the world have promoted gender-responsive budgeting (GRB). With its focus on equality, accountability, transparency and participation in the policy-making process, GRB shares some relevant principles with public governance that call governments at national and subnational levels to rethink their roles in the whole economic system. This worldwide political and managerial interest does not find sufficient space in academic discussion, mainly in terms of public administration and management studies. Adopting an interpretative approach, the present study aims to investigate how an Italian municipality has involved stakeholders in the GRB process. The case study shows that, when GRB is fully developed, the stakeholders involved are both internal and external, and these multiple actors, in pursuing gender equality, cooperate to achieve a common, public aim. In this way, GRB gives effectiveness to the public decision-making process, contributing to greater incisiveness in the local government’s management and creation of a gender-sensitive governance process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Female Entrepreneurship in Perspective: A Methodological Issue
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040067 - 03 Nov 2018
Abstract
A methodological approach to the concept of female entrepreneurship concept has not yet been treated: is female entrepreneurship an individual or collective concept? Is it considered a social or natural variable? The purpose of this research is to clear up these alternatives, which [...] Read more.
A methodological approach to the concept of female entrepreneurship concept has not yet been treated: is female entrepreneurship an individual or collective concept? Is it considered a social or natural variable? The purpose of this research is to clear up these alternatives, which are preparatory questions for any research into female entrepreneurship that wishes to measure its features and effects. The article starts with the proposal of an identification procedure, necessary to identifying the variables of female entrepreneurship. It proceeds by classifying the concept of female entrepreneurship into four different modes and discussing their characteristics. The originality of this research consists in its fourfold classification of the concept of female entrepreneurship, intended as a preparatory step prior to the analysis of its characteristics and measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
Open AccessArticle
Female-Owned Innovative Startups in Italy: Status Quo and Implications
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040066 - 29 Oct 2018
Abstract
The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the current literature of this business phenomenon with regard to gender studies and to point out what is substantially happening and what has happened in the Italian economic context. The main research [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the current literature of this business phenomenon with regard to gender studies and to point out what is substantially happening and what has happened in the Italian economic context. The main research questions were RQ1: How is the phenomenon of female Startups treated from a scientific point of view? RQ2: Which is the Italian situation of this phenomenon? The methodology used is both qualitative and explorative. A bidirectional analysis has been carried out for this purpose. In order to expand the first research question (RQ1), an analysis was carried out of the articles in the EBSCO database on the topic of female startups. In order to expand the second question (RQ2), an analysis was carried out on the data concerning the phenomenon of female startups, using the register of companies held at the Chambers of Commerce which were territorially competent. Our research, carried out within the Italian economic context, demonstrates how the phenomenon of Woman Startups (WSU), even if it is widely expanding, is inherent in all the typical elements of female entrepreneurship, as reported in the literature by gender scholars. The main factors that emerge for the WSU are the small size and the undercapitalization in the startup phase. This work contributes to the expansion of studies on the topic of startups in the context of gender and can be useful to the social context, new entrepreneurs, and practitioners of the sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Opening the “Black Box”. Factors Affecting Women’s Journey to Top Management Positions: A Framework Applied to Chile
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040063 - 20 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The issue of women’s participation in top management and boardroom positions has received increasing attention in the academic literature and the press. However, the pace of advancement for women managers and directors continues to be slow and uneven. The novel framework of this [...] Read more.
The issue of women’s participation in top management and boardroom positions has received increasing attention in the academic literature and the press. However, the pace of advancement for women managers and directors continues to be slow and uneven. The novel framework of this study organizes the factors at the individual, organizational and public policy level that affect both career persistence and the advancement of women in top management positions; namely, factors affecting (1) career persistence (staying at the organization) and (2) career advancement or mobility (getting promoted within the organization). In the study location, Chile, only 32 percent of women “persist”, or have a career without interruptions, mainly due to issues with work–family integration and organizational environments with opaque and challenging working conditions. Women who “advanced” in their professional careers represent 30 percent of high management positions in the public sector and 18 percent in the private sector. Only 3 percent of general managers in Chile are women. Women in Chile have limited access and are still not integrated into business power networks. Our findings will enlighten business leaders and public policy-makers interested in designing organizations that retain and promote talented women in top positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Women Career Paths in Accounting Organizations: Big4 Scenario
Adm. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci8040062 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, we analyze the gender issues that are present in the accounting profession, and more precisely, on the career paths one could follow in the accounting profession and what the underlying reasons are for each option. Our conclusions show that some [...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyze the gender issues that are present in the accounting profession, and more precisely, on the career paths one could follow in the accounting profession and what the underlying reasons are for each option. Our conclusions show that some of the factors that influence women career paths are discrimination, motherhood, glass-ceiling, double standard and a lack of visibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Business)
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