Small Business Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 769–786 | Cite as

Revisiting the entrepreneur gender–performance relationship: a firm perspective

  • In Hyeock Lee
  • Matthew R. Marvel


Research shows that firms started by women underperform those started by men but the relationship may not be as straightforward as previously thought. Using a sample of 4,540 Korean ventures in 2002 we investigated the effects of three firm characteristics—resources, industry, and regional location—on firm performance. Results indicate that firms started by male entrepreneurs, compared to female, have greater firm assets, compete in high-technology manufacturing industries, and are more likely to locate in clustered regions. Further, these firm characteristics are positively associated with domestic and international firm performance. Findings suggest firm resource and context characteristics fully mediate the entrepreneur gender–firm performance relationship. Overall, gender is not a determinant of domestic or international firm performance.


Entrepreneur gender Firm performance Firm assets High-technology manufacturing industries Regional location Mediation Korea 

JEL Classifications

M13 J16 L25 L26 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Quinlan School of BusinessLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management, College of Business and EconomicsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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