Aj Reema Thakur delivers her paper (co-authored with myself) “Balancing Family Life and Personal Ambitions: Western, Buddhist and Hindu Female Entrepreneurs” at the ICGBE International Conference 2013 (Bangkok: February 9th-10th, 2013) earlier today.
Cultural, social and institutional factors can have a significant influence upon the ability and means of female entrepreneurs to balance their family and domestic responsibility with their professional aspirations as entrepreneurs. Previous work has indicated that there are important differences between the likely nature of those aspirations between not just male and female entrepreneurs but also between entrepreneurs from western, Buddhist (Theravadin Thai) and Hindu (Nepalese) backgrounds. Fieldwork in northern Thailand reinforced the understanding that female entrepreneurs both temper their aspirations to the prevailing social, cultural and institutional circumstances and also configure their working styles to meet practical issues: this is evident in such areas as managing child and dependent care, setting objectives and showing flexibility with respect to diversifying or taking advantage of emergent opportunities. These are patterns of behaviour which are also reminiscent of the working lives of cross-border migrants, particularly those working informally. This paper draws upon a number of completed research studies and evaluation of the existing literature to establish what is known about female entrepreneurs with western, Buddhist and Hindu backgrounds with respect to balancing family life and personal ambitions and sets out various propositions to be addressed by future research.
Reema Thakur and John Walsh
Reema Thakur is a lecturer at the School of Management, Shinawatra University
Dr John Walsh is Assistant Professor at the School of Management, Shinawatra University