Title: The glass ceiling in SMEs and its impact on firm managerialisation: a comparison between family and non-family SMEs

Authors: Lucrezia Songini; Luca Gnan

Addresses: Economics and Business Department, Eastern Piedmont University, Via Perrone, 18, 28100 Novara (NO), Italy ' School of Economics, Tor Vergata Rome University, Via Columbia, 2, 00133 Rome, Italy

Abstract: This article aims at comparing family and non-family SMEs with regard to the role of women in ownership, governance and management roles and its relation with the firm managerialisation. We conducted a quantitative deductive design and tested the hypotheses through a questionnaire survey of 313 SMEs in Italy. Findings reveal that family SMEs are a more favourable context for breaking through the glass ceiling. Results also show that in non-family SMEs managerial mechanisms are more relevant when women are involved in governance and managerial roles. On the contrary, in family SMEs, our findings do not outline an active role of women in favouring firm managerialisation.

Keywords: SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; family firms; family businesses; non-family firms; glass ceiling; governance roles; management roles; firm managerialisation; corporate governance; Italy; women; female roles; gender.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2014.063278

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2014 Vol.9 No.2, pp.170 - 196

Published online: 31 Mar 2015 *

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