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This article investigates work–family conflict of women entrepreneurs in Israel. On the basis of the resource theory maintaining that class, ethnicity and gender interact in various combinations for different groups, the article explores factors influencing the intensity of work–family conflict of Arab, immigrant and Israeli-born Jewish women.2 Data were collected in 2007 through a questionnaire administered to a convenient sample of 111 women entrepreneurs in Israel. Degree of family support influenced intensity of the work–family conflict for all three groups of women entrepreneurs, but those from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) experienced the lowest intensity of the conflict, which can be explained in terms of particularities of gender status in their country of origin. Work—life balance remains a major issue for self-employed women.
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Journal of Entrepreneurship
http://joe.sagepub.com/content/20/1/127
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DOI: 10.1177/097135571002000106
2011 20: 127Journal of Entrepreneurship
Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
Entrepreneurs in Israel
Family Conflict of WomenJuggling Family and Business : Work
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Editor’s Introduction 127
Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 1, 1 (2010): vii–xii
Juggling Family
and Business:
WorkFamily
Conflict of Women
Entrepreneurs
in Israel1
Sibylle Heilbrunn
Liema Davidovitch
Abstract
This article investigates work–family conflict of women entrepreneurs
in Israel. On the basis of the resource theory maintaining that class,
ethnicity and gender interact in various combinations for different
groups, the article explores factors influencing the intensity of work–
family conflict of Arab, immigrant and Israeli-born Jewish women.2
Data were collected in 2007 through a questionnaire administered to
a convenient sample of 111 women entrepreneurs in Israel. Degree
of family support influenced intensity of the work–family conflict for
all three groups of women entrepreneurs, but those from the Former
Soviet Union (FSU) experienced the lowest intensity of the conflict,
which can be explained in terms of particularities of gender status in
their country of origin. Work—life balance remains a major issue for
self-employed women.
Keywords
women entrepreneurs; cultures, workfamily conflict, Israel
Article
Sibylle Heilbrunn is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Business Admin-
istration, Institute for Immigration and Social Integration, Ruppin Academic
Center, Emek Hefer, Israel and Liema Davidovitch is Head of the Department
of Economics and Management, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer, Israel.
The Journal of Entrepreneurship
20(1) 127–141
© 2011 Entrepreneurship
Development Institute of India
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/097135571002000106
http://joe.sagepub.com
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128 Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
Despite the female revolution of the last century which has led to
significant changes in the socio-economic and cultural status of women
in many societies, women still are responsible for a larger share of family
and home responsibilities. Thus, women are under persistent pressure
attempting to balance home and work responsibilities; leaving the work
place in order to work at home and leaving home in order to go to work.
Although career opportunities for women have increased, the typical
family role has not and domestic commitments continue to remain the
responsibility of women (Parasuraman & Simmers, 2001).
Women’s economic clustering in niches in advanced societies has
been explained by three overlapping frameworks: human capital theory,
dual labour market theory accounting for the institutional and labour
market segmentation and feminism (Light, 2007). Combining these three
frameworks one can state that societal patriarchy causes a deficit in rele-
vant human capital of women (such as inferiority because of motherhood),
and they are discriminated in a segmented labour market which is not
competitive but rather politically and structurally segmented. This labour
market disadvantage often pushes women into self-employment, and the
tendency of women to become entrepreneurs has been found to be posi-
tively correlated with their level of disadvantage in the labour market.
The human capital theory maintains that workers have access to limited
personal resources (Shaffer et al., 2001). These resources include time
and energy (physical as well as psychological). People set priorities for
wide areas of activity (work, family, leisure), and once resources are
invested, they are not available for other tasks within the same area or in
different areas (Shaffer et al., 2001). From the perspective of the human
capital theory, inter-role conflict occurs when one arena interferes with
another and there is a struggle to maintain the balance. This struggle is
particularly stressful if both arenas are equally important and depend on
the same resources, as is the case with work and family (Greenhaus &
Beutell, 1985). Work and family are the two important arenas in an
adult’s life. Nevertheless, the expectations from both are not always
compatible. The literature on workfamily conflict describes the erosion
of the separate-worlds myth (Kanter, 1977) and undoubtedly reflects the
belief that work and family lives interact.
An inter-role conflict derives when the pressures of an individual’s
role in one organisation are in conflict with pressures of that individual’s
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Juggling Family and Business 129
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
role in another organisation (Netemeyer et al., 1996). This conflict occurs
when the individual has multiple roles, each of which makes demands
that require time, energy and commitment in order to perform the role in
the best possible way (Higgins et al., 1994). Research has shown that
inter-role conflict correlates positively with the workfamily conflict
(WFC) (Aryee et al., 1999; Jones & Butler, 1980). The literature makes
a distinction between inter-role conflict deriving from clashing expecta-
tions of multiple roles and intra-role conflict, deriving from a conflict of
expectations within a certain role (Matusi et al., 1995). Although working
women experience both types of conflict, the inter-role conflict is more
common. In sum, workfamily conflict is a form of inter-role conflict, in
which participation in the work role infringes upon and restricts the
individual’s ability to fulfil obligations in the family role (Wayne et al.,
2004). Managing the demands of work and family is an ongoing challenge
for women entrepreneurs, and is necessary for the growth of the entrepre-
neurial investment and maintaining the women’s physical and mental
welfare (Kim & Ling, 2001; Shelton, 2006). Since women entrepreneurs
are responsible for the success of their business venture and for the
welfare of their employees, their commitment to work is greater than that
of women employees (Carter & Cannon, 1992; Hisrich, 1989). At the
same time, women remain the main caretakers of the family, which
makes the process of establishing and operating a business more difficult
(Kim & Ling, 2001). As working wives, mothers and business owners,
women entrepreneurs have to assume multiple roles in relation to their
businesses and their families (Kim & Ling, 2001). Women tend to view
their business as a mutually connected system and not merely as a sep-
arate economic system. This relationship creates a situation in which the
business is ‘assimilated’ into the life of the woman manager. She is at the
centre of a number of relationships: family, community and business.
When a woman starts her own business, she is not creating a separate
economic entity, but is assimilating a new system of relationship-
dependent business. As a result, women entrepreneurs, as working
women and mothers, undertake multiple roles in the family and in the
business. These roles trigger conflict, when they simultaneously deal
with increasing commitments at work and unreduced family obligations.
The attempt to balance home and work can result in stress that causes
health problems, less efficient parenting and reduced satisfaction in life
(Das, 1999).
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130 Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
The Israeli society is characterised by its many cultures since it is
composed of several ethnic and national groups. This article focuses on
women belonging to three groups, namely Jewish veteran population,
immigrants from the FSU and the Israeli-Arab population. The state of
Israel has about seven million people, with women comprising 48 per
cent of the population. Jewish veteran women are 38 per cent of the
population, Arab Muslim women account for 8 per cent and immigrant
women from the FSU account for 14.8 per cent (Statistical Abstract of
Israel, 2007).
Recent data showed that in 2008 among the Jewish veteran population
in Israel there were 4.4 per cent male entrepreneurs versus 2.2 per cent
female entrepreneurs. Among immigrants from the FSU 1.7 per cent of
all men and 1.4 per cent of all women were entrepreneurs, whereas
among the Arab population only 2.1 per cent of the men and 0.6 per cent
of the women engaged in entrepreneurial undertakings (Menipaz et al.,
2009). Thus, in 2008, Arab women comprise the group with the lowest
rate of entrepreneurship in Israel. As to the ratio between men and women
entrepreneurs, the gap is widest among the Arab population. Whereas the
ratios for the Israeli-born Jewish population and immigrants from the
FSU are 0.50 and 0.82 (52 and 82 women per 100 men entrepreneurs),
respectively, the ratio for the Arab population is 0.28 (Menipaz et al.,
2009).
This exploratory article adds an additional angle to the existing litera-
ture by comparing the intensity of workfamily conflict between three
groups of women entrepreneurs in Israel: Arab women entrepreneurs,
immigrant women entrepreneurs from the FSU and Israeli-born Jewish
women entrepreneurs. The article aims to investigate the factors that
influence the workfamily conflict among the women and whether the
conflict is sensitive to differences between the groups.
Certain family characteristics influence the workfamily conflict
among women entrepreneurs. Parental demands, involvement in the
family and time commitments are some of the major causes of pressure
in the family domain which raise the levels of the workfamily conflict
(Matusi et al., 1995; Parasuraman & Simmers, 2001). Moreover, married
people experience more workfamily conflict than unmarried people
(Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). Parental demands are a function of the
number of children and their age. Research show higher levels of parental
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The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
demands and workfamily conflict for large families compared with
small families (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Keith & Schafer, 1980).
Also, parental demands are higher for parents of preschool children and
lower for parents of adult children (Osherson & Dill, 1983). Family
support is a major asset for women entrepreneurs (Buttner & Moore,
1997; Carter & Cannon, 1992; Hisrich, 1989; Kim & Ling, 2001; Teoh
& Fooh, 1997). The support can be attitudinal, emotional or instru-
mental. Greenhaus & Beutell (1985) found that a pro-feminist sex role
attitude from spouses can reduce work family conflict for working
women and King, Mattimore, King, & Adams (1995) found that instru-
mental support can reduce time pressure and parental demands causing
the conflict. Kim & Ling (2001) further maintain that in addition to the
support of the partner, other family members and/or domestic helps can
reduce the work family conflict.
A further source of the workfamily conflict was found in studies that
claim that it is affected by the size of the business. Data from developed
countries indicate that the larger the business, the stronger is the conflict
(Das, 1999). However, Stoner, Hartman & Arora (1990) argued that
whereas it is intuitive to assume a direct relationship between the size of
the business and conflict, it has not been studied fully.
The following hypotheses were derived:
1. Number of children under the age of 18 is positively associated
with work family conflict.
2. Family support is negatively associated with work family conflict.
3. Size of business in terms of number of employees and scope of
investment is positively associated with work family conflict.
A number of studies revealed that culture affects the nature of work
family conflict (Joplin et al., 2003). Spector et al. (2004) maintain that
most studies on work–family issues have been conducted in predominantly
Western, developed countries sharing cultural individualism as opposed
to collectivism and that cultural collectivism and individualism influence
workfamily conflict. Das (1999) studied women in India and assumed
that the findings of research in developed countries regarding the conflicts
of women entrepreneurs would not correspond with women entrepre-
neurs in India because of cultural, economic and technological differ-
ences. She did find that women entrepreneurs in India do not experience
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132 Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
the workfamily conflict to the same degree as Western women. Research
in developed countries indicates that most workfamily conflicts derive
from lack of support by the entrepreneur’s husband (Joplin et al., 2003;
Hill et al., 2004) whereas in contrast, in a number of developing countries
women enjoy a great deal of extended family support, which helps them
deal with the demands of an independent business and taking care of
their family.
The women investigated in this study belong to three very different
groups of the Israeli society and are definitely different as to cultural pre-
dispositions. Following the literature discussed earlier, one should expect
differences among the groups as to the workfamily conflict between the
women entrepreneurs.
Method
Data were collected in 2007 using a comprehensive questionnaire ad-
ministered to a combined convenient sample of 111 women entrepreneurs
in Israel (40 Israeli-born women, 36 Arab Israeli women and 35 women
who immigrated from the FSU). Table 1 presents the personal and
business characteristics of the women entrepreneurs who took part in the
study.
Data show reveal that the women entrepreneurs who took part in our
study are about 40 years old, with no significant differences between the
groups. More than 80 per cent of all women are married (or living with a
partner), but among Arab women more than 90 per cent are married and
among FSU immigrant women 71 per cent are married (the Mann–
Whitney test revealed significant differences between these two groups
with z = –2.189, p < 0.03). The women entrepreneurs have an average of
1.4 children under the age of 18. Arab women have significantly more
children under the age of 18 than women who immigrated from the FSU
(F = 3.467; p < 0.035). About two-third of the women have either
vocational or formal education. FSU immigrants are significantly higher
educated than their Israeli-born Jewish and Arab counterparts (
c
2 =
30.874; p < 0.000 for Jews versus FSU immigrants and
c
2 = 24.09;
p < 0.000 for Arabs versus FSU immigrants). More than 60 per cent of
the businesses are located in the service sector and the average age of the
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Editor’s Introduction 133
Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 1, 1 (2010): vii–xii
Table 1. Sample Characteristics
Personal and Business
Characteristics
Mean
(S.D.)
Total
N = 111 (100%)
Mean (S.D.)
Israel-born
Jewish Women
N = 40(36%)
Mean (S.D.)
Arab Women
N = 36(32.4%)
Mean (S.D.)
FSU Immigrant
Women
N = 35(31.5%)
Mean (S.D.)
Age of entrepreneur 40.44
(8.60)
42.33
(9.06)
38.68
(9.45)
40.08
(6.81)
Marital status:
1. Single/divorced/widowed
2. Married/living with partner
20 (18%)
91 (82%)
7 (18%)
33(83%)
3 (8%)
33 (92%)
10 (29%)
25 (71%)
Mean number of children under age of 18 1.42
(1.34)
1.46
(1.14)
1.8
(1.79)
1.0
(0.84)
Education
1. 12 years of schooling
2. Vocational studies
3. BA and equivalent
4. MA +
37 (33%)
39 (35%)
23 (21%)
12 (11%)
18 (45%)
12 (30%)
8(20%)
2 (5%)
19 (53%)
10 (28%)
7 (19%)
0
0
17 (49%)
8 (23%)
9 (26%)
(Table 1 continued )
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134 Editor’s Introduction
Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 1, 1 (2010): vii–xii
Personal and Business
Characteristics
Mean
(S.D.)
Total
N = 111 (100%)
Mean (S.D.)
Israel-born
Jewish Women
N = 40(36%)
Mean (S.D.)
Arab Women
N = 36(32.4%)
Mean (S.D.)
FSU Immigrant
Women
N = 35(31.5%)
Mean (S.D.)
Type of business
1. Production
2. Trade
3. Services
5 (4.5%)
31 (27.9%)
73 (65.8%)
2 (5%)
8 (20%)
28 (70%)
3 (8.3%)
10 (27.8%)
23 (63.9%)
0
13 (32.1%)
22 (62.9%)
Duration of business activity (years) 5.67
(3.26)
5.17
3.94
5.49
3.15
6.42
2.36
Business home based
1. Yes
2. No
40 (36%)
71 (64%)
13 (32.5%)
7 (67.5%)
17 (47.2%)
19 (52.8%)
10 (28.6%)
25 (71.4%)
Initial investment
1. Up to 5000 NIS
2. 5000 to 25000 NIS
3. 25001 to 100000 NIS
4. More than 100000 NIS
(17.1%)
(27.9%)
(38.7%)
(13.5%)
(25%)
(20%)
(40%)
(15%)
(5.7%)
(25.7%)
(48.6%)
(20.0%)
(21.2%)
(42.4%)
(30.3%)
(6.1%)
Size of business in terms of number of
employees
2.3
(2.5)
2.46
(3.01)
3.03
(2.22)
1.43
(1.99)
Source: Authors’ Research.
(Table 1 continued )
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Juggling Family and Business 135
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
businesses is nearly 6 years. As expected, we found significant differ-
ences between the groups with businesses of immigrant women sig-
nificantly younger than their Jewish counterparts (Mann–Whitney
z = –1.981; p < 0.048). All businesses are small in terms of number of
employees (m = 2.3) and in terms of scope of initial investment (only
13.5 per cent invested more than 100,000 NIS). But businesses estab-
lished by immigrant women are significantly smaller than those of Arab
or Jewish natives (F = 3.76; p < 0.027). This significance derives from
the difference between Arabs and FSU immigrant group (Scheffe’s post
hoc test; F = 3.03, p < 0.03), no further differences as to business char-
acteristics have been found.
Variables and Measures
The following variables are included in the study. Workfamily conflict
is the dependent variable. Independent variables are number of children
under the age of 18, size of business, scope of investment, education of
the entrepreneur, age of business in years (for descriptive statistics of the
variables see Table 1) and family support which is a constructed inde-
pendent variable. In the following part, we explain the operationalisation
of variables.
The dependent variable: Workfamily conflict was constructed on the
basis of three items of the questionnaire on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 indi-
cating absence of work family conflict and 5 indicating highest degree of
work family conflict): My business makes it difficult for me to carry out
family obligations; My family responsibilities hamper my business re-
sponsibilities; I manage to combine work and family obligation (see also
Stoner et al., 1990). The reliability coefficient of these three items
showed internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha = 0.911); therefore, they
could be integrated into an index of work family conflict calculated as
the mean value of these variables.
The independent variables: Family support is a constructed variable
on the basis of three items of the questionnaire on a dichotomous scale
of 1 and 2 (1 indicating that the woman does not receive the support and
2 indicating that the woman does receive the support):
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136 Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
Partner helps in the business: 1 = no, 2 = yes.
Partner supports emotionally: 1 = no, 2 = yes.
Partner/family members assist with home and family obligations:
1 = no, 2 = yes.
Family support is then calculated as the sum of the answers. Category
1 means no partner/family support (when the woman answered no to all
three questions). Category 2 means some partner family support (when
the women answered yes to at least two questions). Category 3 means
maximal family support (when the woman answered yes to all three
questions). Thus, the constructed variable of family support received
three values: 1 = absence of family support, 2 = some family support,
3 = presence of family support (Table 2).
Table 2. Means and Standard Deviations of Family Support
N Mean Std. Deviation
Israel-born Jewish women 40 2.2 .723
Arab women 36 2.22 .831
FSU immigrant 35 1.54 .613
Total 111 2 .786
Source: Authors’ Research.
Size of business was measured in terms of number of employees and
the scope of investment categorised on a scale of 1–4 (for values see
Table 1). Since both variables correlate significantly (x = 0.449) size in
terms of number of employees was used in the regression model.
Results
The dependent variable: Table 3 presents means, and standard deviations
of work family conflict.
To analyse the dependent variable, workfamily conflict, we ran a
nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test for the three groups followed by
Mann–Whitney test for each pair of groups. The difference between the
three groups was significant (
c
2 = 23.474, 2, p < 0.000).
Mann–Whitney post hoc test revealed significant differences between
women who immigrated from the FSU and Arab and Jewish Israeli-born
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Juggling Family and Business 137
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
women. Thus, women entrepreneurs who immigrated from the FSU,
experienced the workfamily conflict to a significantly lesser degree
than did Arab and Jewish women participating in our study.
In order to test the influence of the independent variables on the
workfamily conflict of the 111 women entrepreneurs who took part in
the study, we performed stepwise multiple regression analyses. Table 4
presents the results of the regression model (F = 34.913, p < 0.000,
R2 = 0.404).
Table 4. Regression Model
Coefficients B Beta T Sig
constant 4.396 t = 19.793 0.000
Family support –0.8 –0.602 t = –7.882 0.000
Size of business –0.066 0.16 t = –2.094 0.039
Excluded variables
No. of children 0.129 t = 1.633 0.106
Education of entrepreneur 0.085 t = 1.078 0.284
Age of business 0.021 t = 0.266 0.791
Source: Authors’ Research.
Family support and the size of the business were negatively associated
with work family conflict, whereas the other independent variables were
not significant.
In addition, we performed the same regression for each of the three
groups of women entrepreneurs separately. We found that for the Israeli-
born Jewish women, the significant predictors were family support, size
of business and age of business—all negatively associated with work
family conflict (F = 23.408, p < 0.0001, R2 = 0.68). For the Arab women,
the significant predictors were family support and education of the
entrepreneur—all negatively associated with work family conflict, but
the regression explanation is weak (F = 7.507, p < 0.002, R2 = 0.326). For
Table 3. Means and Standard Deviations of Work–Family Conflict
N Mean Std. Deviation
Israel-born Jewish women 40 2.98 1.09
Arab women 36 2.80 0.78
FSU immigrant 35 2.19 0.75
Total 111 2.64 1.01
Source: Authors’ Research.
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138 Sibylle Heilbrunn and Liema Davidovitch
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
the FSU women, the significant predictors were number of children,
positively associated with work–family conflict and family support nega-
tively associated with work–family conflict. Again the regression ex-
planation is weak (F = 8.395, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.344).
As can be seen in stepwise multiple regression analyses, family sup-
port was always the strongest predictor variable. In other words, presence
or absence of family support is the variable explaining the intensity of
the work–family conflict. This result accounts for all women entrepreneurs
as well as each separate group. Although the impact of absence of family
support on Jewish women is the strongest (b = –0.81), followed by Arab
women (b = –0.40), for women entrepreneurs who emigrated from the
FSU the impact of absence of family support on work family conflict is
the weakest and number of children is the strongest predictor variable for
this group.
Conclusion
Hypothesis 1 maintaining that a larger number of children under the age
of 18 is positively associated with work family–conflict was supported
only for women entrepreneurs from the FSU. For the other two groups of
women the results were not significant. The factor influencing the in-
tensity of workfamily conflict of women in Israel is presence or absence
of family support. In other words, emotional and instrumental support of
the partner and family members reduce the conflict for women entre-
preneurs. Therefore, our findings reaffirm the existing findings as to the
importance of family support in order to deal with the workfamily con-
flict for entrepreneurial women. Thus, hypothesis 2 maintaining that
family support is negatively associated with workfamily conflict was
supported for all women entrepreneurs, and for each separate group.
Hypothesis 3 maintaining that size of business in terms of number of
employees and scope of investment is associated with work–family
conflict was supported. Similar to Stoner et al. (1990) we found that size
of the business is negatively associated with the workfamily conflict
experienced by the women, and this especially holds for the Jewish
business owners. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind, that most
of the businesses in our sample were small (mean = 2.3 employees).
Hypothesis 4, maintaining that the intensity of the workfamily conflict
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Juggling Family and Business 139
The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
will differ among the three groups, was supported. Work–life balance is
indeed a major issue for self-employed women in Israel, regardless of
the particular group they belong to. However, the intensity of the work–
family conflict differs between the groups. The fact that women entre-
preneurs who emigrated from the FSU experience the lowest level of
conflict can probably be explained by the fact that the socialisation in the
FSU was relatively egalitarian (Remennick, 2005). A combination of
two findings can explain the fact that Arab women experience lower
intensity of the conflict than Jewish women: nearly half of the businesses
of Arab women are home-based and they rate highest on the scale of
family support, especially provided by family members. The reason for
the fact that Israeli-born Jewish women entrepreneurs perceive the
workfamily conflict as more intensive than their counterparts in this
study, could then be explained via gender-specific socialisations and
absence of family support.
The fact that the three groups of women are from substantially differ-
ent socio-culturally backgrounds, affects not only the different degrees
of workfamily conflict but also the factors influencing it above and
beyond family support. Thus, for the Arab women belonging to a national
minority, the level of education reduces the conflict. One of the charac-
teristics of immigrant families from the FSU is their relative by low
number of children, probably due to socio-cultural circumstances in the
FSU. Therefore, it is not surprising that for FSU women entrepreneurs
only, greater number of children increases the conflict.
Policy makers should keep in mind group particularities and pro-
grammes aimed at fostering female entrepreneurship should be adapted
accordingly. Further research should investigate the issue in question on
a large sample of women entrepreneurs.
Notes
1. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Conference: Entrepre-
neurship without Borders. FoSentHE TEMPUS. 16–18 November 2009. The
College of Management Academic Studies, Israel.
2. The Arab population in Israel includes also Druze, Christians and Bedouins.
In the study presented here, we investigated women belonging to the Arab
Muslims only, they account for about 85 per cent of the Israeli-Arab popu-
lation. Immigrant women in this study are those who have emigrated from the
FSU to Israel after 1989.
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The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 20, 1 (2011): 127–141
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... For instance, many Indian women entrepreneurs confront severe work-family conflict as the married women have to meet multiple roles demand in that society (Khandelwal and Sehgal, 2018). However, family support, specifically the role of the spouse, is deemed important in alleviating the work-family conflict and in achieving the work-family balance in some countries, such as Isreal or Pakistan (Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011;Rehman and Roomi, 2012). Family members in developing contexts also provide moral and emotional support along with access to a range of resources, for example, funds, labour or skills (Alexandre and Kharabsheh, 2019;Isaga, 2019;Lindvert et al., 2017;Williams and Gurtoo, 2011). ...
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Purpose Although the extant literature has already recognised the negative impact of homebound responsibilities on women's entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is yet to know whether and how the family has any other role in women's businesses during this critical period. This research aims to explore the patronising and patriarchal roles of the family regarding women's small businesses in a developing nation during the pandemic. Design/methodology/approach This feminist study is based on the interviews of women business-owners of a highly patriarchal developing nation, Bangladesh. During the period of the interview, Bangladesh was one of the top ten regions of the world in terms of the identified coronavirus cases. Findings The research unveils work-family enrichment by illustrating the help of family members in meeting the challenges of the pandemic period regarding women's certain business activities, such as the innovative production process. Besides, the study reveals the assisting and, in some cases, the non-cooperative approaches of family members concerning additional homebound responsibilities that affect work-family conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic. Originality/value Whereas the existing literature on women's entrepreneurship regarding the family revolves around work-family conflict due to maternal or caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19 period, this feminist study substantially contributes to the understanding by revealing how family members help women by getting involved in business activities. It further enriches the prevailing knowledge regarding assisting or hindering activities of family members concerning domestic activities that affect women's businesses during the pandemic.
... Previous studies AQ : 8 underscore the challenges that women entrepreneurs face when they seek to combine their family and business responsibilities (Agarwal and Lenka, 2015;Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011). Their male counterparts may also find it difficult to meet personal and professional demands simultaneously, but this difficulty is typically more acute among women entrepreneurs, due to the established belief that looking after daily family matters is the responsibility of women (Jayawarna et al., 2021;Kaciak and Welsh, 2020). ...
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... Education, measured as years of schooling, showed that the average education of women entrepreneurs was reported 4.96 years (SD = 5.11). Most of the women entrepreneurs were married (82.5%) which is in line with a study conducted in Israel (Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011). About 68.7% reported owning their home. ...
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... Family support during the pandemic was critical for the success of women entrepreneurs in this sample. And, although family support of women entrepreneurs is emphasized in the literature (Heilbrunn et al., 2014;Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011;Wijewardena et al., 2020), other research shows no relationship between family organizational support and company performance (Batool, 2021) among Pakistani women entrepreneurs. However, the Batool (2021) sample was comprised of small and mid-sized businesses that were quite different from the informal, home-based women entrepreneurs studied here. ...
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Purpose The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had profound economic effects, putting women entrepreneurs at considerable risk of losing income and sales growth as a result. This study aims to examine whether the COVID-19 pandemic is a blessing or a curse for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan’s informal sector. The influence of business type, family support and other socio-economic factors on the sales volume of women’s businesses is examined. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from 400 women entrepreneurs using a survey questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to investigate the relationships between perceived sales volume and socio-economic as well as demographic factors of women entrepreneurs. Findings Findings for RQ1 revealed that the pandemic was a blessing for cloth and cosmetic entrepreneurs, but a curse for those women selling dairy products. Results for RQ2 showed that age, homeownership, household size, family support and type of business were significant predictors of sales. Furthermore, women entrepreneurs were greatly influenced by their family’s desires and decisions, such that women entrepreneurs who received support from families and relatives reported higher sales than those who did not receive such support. Practical implications The results may assist policymakers in designing supportive programs to encourage women’s informal entrepreneurial activities. Creating entrepreneurial ecosystems may provide support for women entrepreneurs beyond family support. The findings provide a better understanding of women’s business effectiveness during COVID-19 pandemic. It reveals the resilience of women entrepreneurs in the face of cultural, economic and institutional constraints encountered during the pandemic. Originality/value This study is unique because it focuses on the impact of the pandemic at the household level rather than examining broad macroeconomic scenarios. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first attempt to explore the informal, home-based business sector of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan during the pandemic.
... In turn, gender-discriminatory environments create significant difficulties for women entrepreneurs, both at home and in a business context (Gherardi, 2015;Poggesi et al., 2019;Ufuk and Özgen, 2001). Accordingly, we propose that the negative interference of work upon family, due to such normative expectations, may escalate into poor performance at the firm level if entrepreneurs become emotionally drained by running the firm (Elmuti et al., 1993;Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011). In addition, we postulate that this escalation might be reinforced by convictions that adverse competitive markets threaten to undermine the viability of their firms (Covin and Slevin, 1989). ...
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... It can likewise get an answer by utilizing appropriate advancements that will empower women to deal with her home and family obligations. The study indicated that the negative impact that work-family interference can have on the work area of the women' business people, particularly as a familywork struggle (Heilbrunn and Davidovitch, 2011). Work-family interference is characterized by (Chinonso and Zhen, 2016) as "a type of between job struggle in which the overall requests of, time gave to, and strain made by the family intervene with performing business-related obligations." ...
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The aims of this study to examine that factors which influence to women entrepreneurs in business activities. These factors are included work-family interference, cultural and social support and entrepreneurial skill. Further, this study to investigate the mediating effect of self-leadership between work-family interference, cultural and social support and entrepreneurial skill on the participation of women in entrepreneurial activities. Structure questionnaire used in this study for the data collection from women entrepreneurs in Pakistan. There were 384 questionnaires distributed, and approximately 347 response were collected after omitted of 17 questionnaires which were not suitable filled or greater than 5% missing values. The response rate was 90.36%. Smart PLS software used in this study for data analysis. The study findings are indicated that the positive relation between work-family interference, cultural and social support and entrepreneurial skill on the participation of women in entrepreneurial activities. Moreover, this study also indicated that the significant relationship between all factors which influence the participation of women in entrepreneurial activities with the mediating effect of a self-leadership role. The study recommended that policymakers should make the policies for women entrepreneurs that would be effect toward self-leading behavior in business activities. It contributes to understanding the factors for women in development in business. Further, it also recommends that the use of this study in academic level and also encourage the women in developing the motivational factors towards entrepreneurship.
... The mean age was in line with a study conducted in Pakistan (Adams Jr, 1994). The married ratio was the same as a study reported in an Israeli context (Heilbrunn & Davidovitch, 2011). The high married ratio showed that women entry into these businesses were necessity driven to support their families. ...
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Background: Families and businesses have been separated from one another, but are intertwined in the case of women entrepreneurship. Women's participation in economic and business activities has enhanced the employment ratio as well as boosting up the living standard by supporting their families financially. However, development has been always unequal. Objectives: This study aims to investigate the rural-urban disparity among women home-based entrepreneurs in Mardan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Methods: Data were obtained through a questionnaire in the rural-urban location from 504 participants who were engaged in informal home businesses. Descriptive and chi-square analyses were performed to test the association among variables. Results: The results showed that significant disparity in the rural-urban location was found in the products offered, family's financial status, family's network support in finance and sales, and markets. Conclusions: These women entrepreneurs should expand their business network to reduce their dependency on their family for support which can put a bar on their decision making. To empower women and reducing the rural-urban inequality gap, the government should provide financial support for the expansion of these entrepreneurial activities. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Rehman and Muhammad (2012) concluded that women recognized that to achieve entrepreneurial success, they should balance between household responsibilities and work. Heilbrunn and Davidovitch's (2011) findings support the research findings as they concluded that balancing work and life is essential to avoid conflict between household responsibilities and the business. For that reason, most women businesses are home-based, confirming that family and spousal support are crucial for balancing work and life. ...
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In line with the literature that describes conflicts between commitment to work and to family in patriarchal societies undergoing cultural changes, including the cultural empowerment of women, this study examines whether such a development is evident among teacher-mothers in Arab society in Israel, and if so, how it affects their functioning in both settings. 537 teacher-mothers from high schools in Arab society in Israel, representing the population in all districts of the country, completed questionnaires that examined conflictual characteristics and their implications for the teachers’ functioning. It was found that the teachers are in a bidirectional conflict between commitment to family and work but that they cope with it successfully. A model was validated that describes the systemic significance of the commitment conflict between family and work. Identifying conflict factors may facilitate the proposal of means to moderate them. The possibility of expanding the model in further research is discussed.
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This study examines the reasons 129 women executives and professionals left large organizations to become entrepreneurs and how they measure success. Findings indicate that the women's most important entrepreneurial motivations were the desire for challenge and self-determination and the desire to balance family and work responsibilities. Also important were blocks to career advancement in large organizations, including discrimination, and organizational dynamics. These entrepreneurs measure success in terms of self-fulfillment and goal achievement. Profits and business growth, while important, were less substantial measures of their success. Motivation to become entrepreneurs was related to the criteria the women used to measure their success.
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The impact of gender and life-cycle stage on three components of work-family conflict was examined using a sample of 3,616 respondents. Significant differences were found for gender and life cycle. For all components of work-family conflict, an interaction between gender and life-cycle was observed. For men, levels of work-family conflict were moderately lower in each successive life-cycle stage. For women, levels were similar in the two early life-cycle stages but were significantly lower in the later life-cycle stage.
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This paper looks at two specific features of men's career satisfaction: satisfaction with achieved success relative to peers, and satisfaction with the fit of work to interests and abilities. We examine the relationship of these factors to patterns of selected life-structuring choices: type of marital structure, presence and age of children, and timing of career entry. The results of a questionnaire survey of 370 professional men at midlife show definite relationships between these important life-structuring choices and career satisfaction, suggesting that professional men in less traditional life structures may find satisfaction in their careers in different ways than do men in traditional life structures.