The Search for an Authentic Entrepreneurial Identity: Difference and Professionalism among Women Business Owners

Lewis, P. (2013) The Search for an Authentic Entrepreneurial Identity: Difference and Professionalism among Women Business Owners. Gender, Work & Organization, 20 (3). pp. 252-266. ISSN 0968-6673. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0432.2011.00568.x

Abstract

This article contributes to the recent stream of research on enterprise and identity by exploring the authenticity-driven identity work of a group of women business owners. While previous research has highlighted the effort some female business owners put into fitting in with the masculine identity of the entrepreneur, this article focuses on those women who self-consciously adopt a feminized entrepreneurial identity as a means of being ‘who I really am’ in a business context. Nevertheless, despite their expressed commitment to a feminized identity, the article highlights their incorporation of a contrasting position or antagonism in this authenticity-driven endeavour. Drawing on Charme's notion of existential authenticity, which places an emphasis on the cultural, historical, political, economic and physical limits to being ‘true to oneself’, the article shows how the situated nature of women's search for an authentically driven entrepreneurial identity means that they draw on a feminized discourse of difference and a contrasting masculine discourse of professionalism in their identity construction labours.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: authenticity, identity work, entrepreneurial identity, true to self, difference, professionalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Industrial Relations/HRM
Depositing User: Cathy Norman
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2012 11:53
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2013 15:53
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/29638 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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