Oh, it’s complex to see women here, isn’t it and this seems to take all my attention! A repertory grid approach to capture venture capitalists cognitive structures when evaluating women entrepreneurs

Jeaneth Johansson, Malin Malmström*, Tom Lahti, Joakim Wincent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We introduce Personal Construct Theory (PCT) and the Repertory Grid methodology to investigate deeper differences in the way government venture capital financiers cognitively process to evaluate 77 investment proposals from women and men entrepreneurs. In our study of financiers’ who are by law forbidden to discriminate, we reveal an underlying cognitive bias when evaluating women entrepreneurs. We find that the difficulty when assessing women’s venture potential, as indicated by the greater thought complexity and the excessive weight financiers place on the person rather than the full business case, can be considered to represent the underlying thought mechanism that affect women’s chances of securing financing. This finding suggests women entrepreneurs are looked upon as being role incongruent: misdirecting attention in evaluations. Evaluating women entrepreneurs is a cognitive challenge, because they deviate from the stereotype of an entrepreneur.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00218
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Volume15
Number of pages13
ISSN2352-6734
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23.12.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • funding decisions
  • repertory grid analysis
  • gender bias
  • discrimination
  • cognitive bias
  • cognitive evaluation

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being

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