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The Opportunities and Challenges of Female Entrepreneurial Leadership in Modern China

DU, JINGWEI (2023) The Opportunities and Challenges of Female Entrepreneurial Leadership in Modern China. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Female entrepreneurial leadership is becoming one of China’s economic development dynamics. However, the opportunities and challenges for female entrepreneurial leaders are still underdeveloped in research. Thus, this study seeks to analyse the opportunities and challenges of female entrepreneurial leadership by utilising the interpretive methodology from the perspective of cultural psychology and subsequently introducing the concept of “cultural gateway." Specifically, cultural tightness and looseness together often form a cultural gateway towards female entrepreneurial leaders.
This study makes contributions to the research on female entrepreneurial leadership in five aspects. Firstly, a family-oriented culture is explored as a new finding compared with extant research. Secondly, the concept of a ‘cultural gateway’ is proposed to systematically interpret how the opportunities and challenges formulate. This means that the status of a cultural gateway, such as closed or open, correspondingly becomes a challenge or opportunity for female entrepreneurial leaders.
Thirdly, the concept of ‘gender gateway’ is inferred from the concept of ‘cultural gateway’ to interpret gender inequality, which can contribute to understanding Chinese feminism. Based on this point of view, this study proposes that Chinese feminism is a transcendence of ‘gender gateway’. Fourthly, a model of female entrepreneurial leadership for identifying challenges and opportunities is constructed as a contribution to cultural psychology. Particularly, this model reorganises the four levels of Culture Cyle (i.e., Individuals, Interactions, Institutes, and Ideas) into the relationship between psychological adaptation (at the Individuals level) and cultural gateway (at the levels of Interactions, Institutes, and Ideas). Cultural gateways and psychological adaptations usually interact together and formulate a coupling structure. In this situation, the psychological adaptation of female entrepreneurial leaders needs to match the cultural gateway. Both of these determinants will create real opportunities for female entrepreneurial leaders if they are matched. Conversely, if both are mismatched, the determinants will challenge female entrepreneurial leaders.
Fifthly, this study proposes that female entrepreneurial leadership is a practical path for women to realise a transcendence of both self and cultural gateway. Specifically, this study finds that geographic cultures with the properties of cultural tightness and looseness influence the opportunities and challenges of female entrepreneurial leadership. In detail, cultural tightness geographically exists in socioeconomic-developing areas, and cultural looseness exists in socioeconomic-developed areas. Thus, this study recommends that those Chinese women who are in the areas with cultural tightness need to learn from and reference the female entrepreneurial leaders who have business foresight and are successful in the areas with cultural looseness to realise their entrepreneurial visions. Generally, this study recommends that policymakers, female entrepreneurial leaders, non-entrepreneurial women, and Westerners transcend the self or cultural gateways with different solutions to seize opportunities and deal with challenges.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Business Administration
Keywords:Female Entrepreneurial Leadership;Family-oriented culture; Cultural Gateway
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Dec 2023 13:38

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