Value of formalisation for women entrepreneurs in developing contexts: a review and research agenda

Xheneti, Mirela, Madden, Adrian and Thapa Karki, Shova (2019) Value of formalisation for women entrepreneurs in developing contexts: a review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 21 (1). pp. 3-23. ISSN 1460-8545

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Formalisation is constantly being proposed as of great benefit to business expansion and success. This claim however has not been previously tested through a review of the empirical evidence, especially in relation to the large number of women in the developing world that operate in the informal economy. Therefore, our aim in this review is to systematise the current empirical evidence on gender, the informal economy and formalisation using a narrative synthesis of 76 papers. The papers were analysed along three main analytical themes – identity, institutions and, constraints and preferences, highlighting their conceptualisation in studies of different academic disciplines – economics, sociology, entrepreneurship and development. The review calls for more accurate accounts of formalisation decisions by widening the lens through which formalisations decisions are conceptualised. These should take account of the rich contextual and temporal dimensions central to these decisions, and recognise that gender alone is not a sufficient factor in explaining women’s choices in the informal economy. The review also highlights limitations in relation to the limited conceptual and empirical evidence on which development priorities such as formalisation are set. We propose a research agenda that centres on the need for conceptual frameworks that are more sensitive towards the multi-dimensional contexts of women’s choices.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gender, Formalisation, Developing contexts, Narrative synthesis, Informal economy, Entrepreneurship
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Research Centres and Groups: Future of Work Hub
Depositing User: Mirela Xheneti
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 12:53
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 15:34

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
UnsetpFACT 5870CEPR&DFIDPEDL No 3792