Title: International decision processes within SMEs: the influence of biological sex and stereotypical gender roles
Authors: Barbara Francioni; Fabio Musso; Marco Cioppi
Addresses: Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Via Saffi, 42 - 61029 Urbino, Italy ' Department of Economics, Society and Politics, Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Via Saffi, 42 - 61029 Urbino, Italy ' Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies. Cultures, Languages, Literatures, Arts, Media, Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Via Saffi, 15 - 61029 Urbino, Italy
Abstract: This study examines the influence of decision-makers' characteristics, such as biological sex and stereotypical gender roles, on the international decision process within a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), with particular attention to the strategic decision-making process (SDMP). We tested our hypotheses on a sample of 188 Italian SMEs using hierarchical multiple regression. The results reveal that women have a greater ability than men to involve the organisation members in making decisions, regardless of the degree of formalisation of the process and the level of decentralisation of the responsibilities within the company. Moreover, as regard stereotypical gender roles, only masculinity showed a relationship with the SDMP dimensions, especially with the levels of formalisation and hierarchical decentralisation of decisions. This paper provides a combination of analyses of biological sex, stereotypical gender roles and SDMP dimensions. It is also one of the few studies of this kind in the field of international strategy.
Keywords: androgyny; biological sex; femininity; international decisions; internationalisation; masculinity; small- and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; strategic decision-making process; stereotypical gender roles.
International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2017 Vol.9 No.4, pp.203 - 221
Received: 07 Jun 2016
Accepted: 18 Mar 2017
Published online: 16 Feb 2018 *