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Women entrepreneurial orientation: A systematic literature review



Objective: The objective of the article is to investigate the status and evolution of women’s entrepreneurial orientation (WEO) research from 1990 to 2021 through a systematic literature review.

Research Design & Methods: We examined 204 peer-reviewed scholarly articles to identify and analyse study themes, publication trends, journal outlets, research methods, country, and regional distributions, and the theoretical landscape of WEO research through a mixed methodology of descriptive and content analyses.

Findings: Our analysis showed the following key findings: (1) publication trends show a constant growth of interest in WEO research, particularly in the last decade (2011-2021), with most of the articles published in high-ranked journals outlets; (2) quantitative research dominates the field above qualitative studies and conceptual models; (3) study themes are multidimensional, embodying a wide range of topics (4) research is generally US-centric regarding the individual countries, and in terms of the regional distribution, studies are Australasia and Europe centric; and, finally (5) studies mainly employ the theory of entrepreneurship and theory of planned behaviour in the theory-driven studies.

Implications & Recommendations: The results imply that WEO research is growing in interest in both theory and practice, thereby demanding the attention of women entrepreneurship researchers.

Contribution & Value Added: This study contributes to the literature by reviewing and discussing the body of WEO literature. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. The findings of this study can benefit researchers in understanding the status and evolution of WEO. It can also assist policymakers and governments in developing suitable policies and initiatives.



entrepreneurial orientation, women entrepreneurs, systematic review, innovativeness, risk-taking, proactiveness

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Author Biography

Stephen Oduro

Stephen Oduro, Ph.D. (International Management), is an Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management and International Sales Management at the University of International Studies of Rome, UNINT, Italy. His research interests include but are not limited to international marketing, innovation & entrepreneurship, sustainability & corporate social responsibility, and meta-analysis. He is a member of the European Academy of Management.

Giada Mainolfi

Giada Mainolfi, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of International Studies of Rome, where she is also the Scientific Director of the Research Centre on Made in Italy (MADEINT). She teaches Luxury & Fashion Management and International Management and Marketing. Her research areas of interest include international marketing strategies focusing on the country-of-origin effect, sustainable fashion, and influencer marketing. She is the author of several scientific publications of national and international relevance.

Alessandro De Nisco

Alessandro De Nisco is a Professor of Marketing at the University of International Studies of Rome, where he is also the Dean of the Faculty of Economics. His research focuses on consumer behavior, emphasizing place images, country of origin effect, and retail atmospherics. He has published in leading journals, including the International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Research, and Marketing Intelligence and Planning. He has received five best-paper awards in place images and retailing. He’s a member of the European Marketing Academy and the Italian Marketing Academy.


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