Women are less likely to be entrepreneurs than men. We investigate whether working in a startup founded by a woman instead of a man influences individuals' decision to become an entrepreneur later. We find this to be the case for women. This result is best explained by female founders acting as role models for their female employees in male-dominated domains. Female founders able to break gender stereotypes seem to have an influence on the career choices of their female employees, especially among those who have lacked contact with entrepreneurs. Moreover, this influence is stronger if the female founder and employee have similar backgrounds. These findings confirm the importance of social interactions at work and suggest new ways to inspire more women to launch startups.

Rocha, V., & van Praag, M. (2020). Mind the gap: The role of gender in entrepreneurial career choice and social influence by founders. Strategic Management Journal, 41(5), 841-866.

The authors show how entrepreneurs recalibrated the existing temporal and relational commitments they had made to accommodate the problems and possibilities they encountered. Understanding such recalibration is important, as it influences how entrepreneurs will act when they encounter unexpected events.
To persevere, they positioned their actions as a continuation of the past, thus maintaining earlier commitments while typically extending the temporal length (e.g., postponing committed milestones). To pivot, the entrepreneurs repositioned their actions on a revised timeline. They reframed commitments from the past to make it fit with a new projected future. At the same time, they decreased the temporal length of actions and milestones (promising results in the near future).

Published as: Berends, H., van Burg, E., & Garud, R. (2021). Pivoting or persevering with venture ideas: Recalibrating temporal commitments. Journal of Business Venturing, 36(4), 106126. 

Politicians are influential both in directing policies about refugees and in framing public discourse about them. However, unlike other host country residents, politicians’ attitudes towards refugees and integration are remarkably understudied. We therefore examine similarities and differences between politicians’ attitudes towards refugee integration and those held by citizens. Based on the stereotype content model, we expect that political ideology informs stereotypes about refugees, which subsequently shape attitudes towards refugee integration. Based on the Contact Hypothesis, we further argue that personal contact with refugees reduces negative stereotypes about them—in particular for those endorsing a right-wing ideology. We draw on data collected via two surveys with 905 politicians and 8013 citizens in the Netherlands to show that (1) unlike those with a left-wing orientation, residents (i.e., both politicians and citizens) with a right-wing orientation hold more negative stereotypes about refugees, which in turn relate to more negative attitudes towards refugee integration; (2) personal contact with refugees is associated with less negative stereotypes among residents; and (3) politicians, compared to citizens, report less negative stereotypes and more positive attitudes towards refugee integration. The practical implication of fostering residents’ contact with refugees as well as the implications for future research are discussed.

Published as: Knappert, L., Van Dijk, H., Yuan, S., Engel, Y., van Prooijen, J. W., & Krouwel, A. (2020). Personal contact with refugees is key to welcoming them: An analysis of politicians' and citizens' attitudes towards refugee integration. Political Psychology.

In Uganda, the agricultural sector contributes substantially to gross domestic product. Although the involvement of Ugandan women in this sector is extensive, female farmers face significant obstacles, caused by gendering that impedes their ability to expand their family business and to generate incomes. Gender refers to social or cultural categories by which women–men relationships are conceived. In this study, we aim to investigate how gendering influences the development of business relationships in the Ugandan agricultural sector. To do so, we employed a qualitative– inductive methodology to collect unique data on the rice and cassava sectors. Our findings reveal at first that, in the agricultural sector in Uganda, inter-organization business relationships (i.e., between non-family actors) are mostly developed by and between men, whereas intra-organization business relationships with family members are mostly developed by women. We learn that gendering im- pedes women from developing inter-organization business relationships. Impediments for female farmers include their restricted mobility, the lack of trust by men, their limited freedom in communication, household duties, and responsibilities for farming activities up until sales. Our findings also reveal that these impediments to developing inter-organization business relationships prevent female farmers from being empowered and from attainting economic benefits for the family business. In this context, the results of our study show that grouping in small-scale cooperatives offers female farmers an opportunity to overcome gender inequality and to become economically emancipated. Thanks to these cooperatives, women can develop inter-organization relationships with men and other women and gain easier access to financial resources. Small-scale cooperatives can alter gendering in the long run, in favor of more gender equality and less marginalization of women. Our study responds to calls for more research on the informal economy in developing countries and brings further understanding to the effect of gendering in the Ugandan agricultural sector. We propose a theoretical framework with eight propositions bridging gendering, business relationship development, and empowerment and economic benefits. Our framework serves as a springboard for policy implications aimed at fostering gender equality in informal sectors in developing countries.


Published as: Theeuwen, A., Duplat. V., Wickert, C., & Tjemkes, B. (2021). How do women overcome gender inequality by forming small-scalecooperatives? The case of the agricultural sector in Uganda. Sustainability, 13(4), 1797.


The so-called “Traffic Light Index” (TLI) is a meta-sustainability label aimed at condensing the information provided by existing sustainability labels into an overarching message on food products’ environmental footprints. Such an overarching message is critical to reduce the confusion caused by existing labels and to foster more sustainable dietary habits among consumers. While research shows that the TLI is a viable and effective choice, its actual development and implementation are impeded by debates between relevant stakeholders in the European food system. This study examines those debates and adopts a multi-stakeholder perspective to address the following question: How do different stakeholder groups involved in the discussion towards a meta-sustainability label inhibit the adoption of the TLI label? Exploratory interviews with representatives from non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, academia, multi-national corporations, and governmental organizations show that each stakeholder group (1) adopts either optimistic or skeptical attitudes towards the TLI label, (2) perceives different types and magnitudes of barriers to its adoption (i.e., cognitive, methodological, and processual), and (3) proposes solutions to overcome those barriers that are either of an entrepreneurial or risk-averse nature. Findings further reveal that multi-stakeholder interactions influence attitudes and thereby inhibit or favor TLI adoption. Hence, entrepreneurial (vs. risk-averse) solutions proposed by optimistic (vs. skeptical) stakeholders may alter the attitudes of skeptical (vs. optimistic) stakeholders and the barriers they perceive to TLI adoption. By responding to calls for holistic approaches towards food labelling, our study shows how the diversity of stakeholders’ perceptions towards the TLI inhibits its adoption. We propose a theoretical framework and a set of propositions that can serve as springboards for policy ideas to propel progress in food labelling for environmental sustainability.


Published as: Gröfke, N., Duplat, V., Wickert, C., & Tjemkes, B. (2021). A multi-stakeholder perspective on food labelling for environmental sustainability: Attitudes, perceived barriers and solution approaches towards the “Traffic Light Index.” Sustainability, 13(2), 933.


In the United States, nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are white males. To increase diversity in the workplace, Christina Rott and other researchers found a simple and cost-efficient alternative to quotas and expensive campaigns: sending prospective applicants a message about how the company values diversity among its employees. The method more than doubled applications from and offers to African Americans and Hispanics – without dissuading majority candidates from applying. The implications of this study extend to a broader range of environments where lack of diversity is a concern.

Published as: Jeffrey A. Flory, Andreas Leibbrandt, and Olga Stoddard (2021). Increasing workplace diversity: Evidence from a recruiting experiment at a Fortune 500 company, Journal of Human Resources, 56(1), pp. 73 - 92.

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