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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 18, 2021

Tacking into the Wind: How Women Entrepreneurs can Sail Through Family-to-Work Conflict to Ensure their Firms’ Entrepreneurial Orientation

  • Dirk De Clercq EMAIL logo , Eugene Kaciak and Narongsak (Tek) Thongpapanl


When women entrepreneurs experience family-to-work conflict, it may discourage them from adopting an entrepreneurial orientation, an effect mediated by work-related emotional exhaustion and moderated by both family-to-work enrichment and family support at home. According to survey data collected among women entrepreneurs in Ghana, negative interferences of family with work can steer women entrepreneurs away from adopting an entrepreneurial orientation for their company, largely because they feel emotionally overextended by their work. However, enrichment of their work, attained through family involvement, can buffer this detrimental effect. The buffering role of family-to-work enrichment in turn is particularly effective when women entrepreneurs receive help on household tasks from other family members. This study accordingly identifies a key mechanism by which family-induced work strain can hamper bold strategic actions by women entrepreneurs—because they feel emotionally drained at work—and details when this mechanism is less prominent, namely, in the presence of relevant family resources.

Corresponding author: Dirk De Clercq, Brock University Goodman School of Business, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada, E-mail:

Funding source: Narodowe Centrum Nauki

Award Identifier / Grant number: 2017/27/B/HS4/02075

  1. Research funding: This research was funded by research grant no. 2017/27/B/HS4/02075 for Eugene Kaciak, National Science Centre, Poland.


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Received: 2021-01-29
Accepted: 2021-11-06
Published Online: 2021-11-18

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