High-growth women entrepreneurs and corporate social responsibility: a new approach
Léger-Jarniou, Catherine (2014-06), High-growth women entrepreneurs and corporate social responsibility: a new approach, 59th ICSB World Conference - ICSB 2014, 2014-06, Dublin, Irlande
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title59th ICSB World Conference - ICSB 2014
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)Aim of the paper Entrepreneurship is recognized as an engine of both economic growth and development (Audretsch & al, 2006). Such growth results in social and cultural change as new companies and industries are created and have their impact. Women entrepreneurs contribute greatly to this dynamic (OECD, GEM reports) and increasingly so, particularly in the high growth firm area where women are now becoming more influential and more visible in France. Background literature In this research we consider how gender expressed in the entrepreneurial context may influence the practice of entrepreneurship. The present study is in line with the question on how gender makes a difference; if it does (Carter & Shaw, 2006; Pines et al., 2010). We explore women entrepreneurs and their view of the relationship of managing their businesses and their commitment to social responsibility. We explore the relationship of firm growth and corporate social entrepreneurship under women’s leadership. Methodology This paper focuses on 200 high-growth women entrepreneurs who developed their companies in France in different sectors and different regions over the period 2010 to 2013. The data comes from a French high growth women entrepreneurs Index -produced by Women Equity for Growth- that shows exceptional growth rates and amazing performance. Our research questions can be summarized as follows: is there a relationship between a firm level commitment to corporate social responsibility and firm growth? What is the meaning of corporate social responsibility for high growth companies led by women in France? What are the engagements of these companies in relation to corporate social responsibility? The paper first reviews studies concerning women entrepreneurs -and especially those leading high-growth firms- as well as corporate social responsibility, which has different meanings and variables of interest. The second part deals with the data analysis conducted on these high growth companies; looking at high growth through financial indicators. Third, we analyse the web sites of the fifty most successful companies in the 2013 Index in order to find their meanings, philosophy and actions for and/or about corporate social responsibility. Last, we report the results of interviews of the six top companies regarding this topic. These interviews were conducted to determine whether the high growth women entrepreneurs believe there is a relationship between corporate social responsibility and their views on integrating this into their companies and growth. Results and discussion Our findings show that these entrepreneurs are very conscious about their corporate social responsibility, even if they all do not incorporate the commitment into their marketing message. The managerial posture they assume is in line with the “authentic leader” pointed out by Elies et al. (2005) and refers to the end of the heroic leader in favour of a collective authentic leadership. Secondly, they practice more social than environmental corporate social responsibility; and more internal than external corporate social responsibility; and so contribute to increase their own and their teams well-being. We report and discuss our findings. In future research we will explore these links in more detail, particularly the relationship of entrepreneur and her firm and a commitment to corporate social responsibility and a firm’s practices and commitments.
Subjects / KeywordsEntreprises; Croissance; Leadership féminin; Développement durable; Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises; Femmes chefs d'entreprise; Leadership; Sustainability; Corporate social responsibility; Indicators; Growth-oriented women entrepreneurs
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