Gender differences in management styles during crisis and the effect on firm performance
; The Institute of Economics, Zagreb
Sonja Radas ; The Institute of Economics, Zagreb
Bruno Škrinjarić orcid.org/0000-0002-5969-1948 ; The Institute of Economics, Zagreb
This paper aims to shed light on gender differences in firm performance in a period that entails an unprecedented crisis with specific effects on gender roles, i.e., COVID-19. The analysis focuses on Croatian high-tech manufacturing and knowledge-intensive service sector SMEs. Previous literature indicates that the obstacles the SMEs face may be even more significant for women-owned firms. Specifically, women entrepreneurs find it more challenging to secure social and financial capital. Women often face restrictions on their working hours due to societal pressure and family obligations, and they are rarely well-connected because they are often not members of influential business networks. Literature also suggests that the usual pressures on female working hours have disproportionally increased during the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns, so the general expectation is that women entrepreneurs were not able to cope equally with the changed market circumstances. In this study, we consider a causationeffectuation management framework to investigate how women- and men-owned SMEs used these management styles to address the business challenges in the COVID-19 crisis. Our contribution aims explicitly to answer the invitation made in recent literature to explore how gender influences the effects of the four dimensions of effectuation on firm performance.
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