Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Vad hände?: Kvinnors företagande och de strukturella villkoren – en studie i spåren av den offentliga sektorns omvandling
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
What happened? : Women’s small-business ownership and the structural conditions – a study in the wake of the Public Sector transformation (English)
Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen tar sin empiriska utgångspunkt i konkurrensutsättningen av den offentliga sektorns verksamheter. Förväntningarna har varit stora från politiker, tjänstemän och vissa forskare att denna omvandling skulle leda till ökat företagande, framförallt bland kvinnor. Syftet med avhandlingen är att förstå och förklara hur och varför kvinnors företagande förändras i spåren av den offentliga sektorns omvandling – vad begränsar och möjliggör. Avhandlingen innehåller fyra sammanhängande artiklar och en kappa. Studierna genomfördes med kvantitativa longitudinella data över åren 1993–2010.

I artiklarna eftersöks vad som begränsar och möjliggör en förändring av kvinnors företagande. Det sker via studier i näringsgrenar och regioner där kvinnor dominerar småföretagandet som mest. Det visar sig att på aggregerad nivå har kvinnors företagande ökat i antal. En analys på detaljerad näringsgrensnivå synliggör dock att kvinnors andel bland företagarna endast ökat i 6 av 16 näringsgrenar och att kvinnors underrepresentation ökat signifikant i 10. Analysen påvisar kontextens och strukturella villkors betydelse för kvinnors företagande. Småföretagares relativa position förändras gynnsamt där det redan finns små privata företag och på de nya offentliga marknaderna reproduceras en stordriftsnorm. Studien stärker teorin om ett genussystem och synliggör dess inbäddning i företagandet. Det övergripande resultatet är att trots förändrade formella strukturer återskapas kvinnors underrepresentation i företagandet, vilket förstås med utgångspunkt i genusteoretiska resonemang.

Abstract [en]

The dissertation takes its empirical backdrop in the competition of the Public Sector activities. There have been great expectations on the part of politicians and some researchers that this restructuring would enhance small-business ownership, and, specifically, women’s small-business ownership. The aim of the quantitative longitudinal study is to understand and explain how and why women’s smallbusiness ownership has changed in the wake of the Public Sector’s transformation, and what constrains and enables this. The dissertation comprises an introductory summary chapter based on four independent papers.

The articles search for what constrains and enables the change in women’s smallbusiness ownership through studies in industries, regions and where women dominate small-businesses the most. The study shows that the underrepresentation of women as small-business owners has decreased in 10 out of 16 industries. The analysis shows the importance of taking contextual and structural conditions into account when studying women’s small-business ownership. The small-business owners’ relative position changes positively where a private smallbusiness market already exists. The results indicate a norm of scale production in the new Public markets. The studies reinforce the theory that a gender system is reproduced in the small-business context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 122 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 647
Keyword [en]
Gender theory, small-business ownership, women entrepreneurship, public sector, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
Genusteori, småföretagande, kvinnors företagande, offentlig sektor, Sverige
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117909DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-117909ISBN: 978-91-7519-056-3 (print)OAI: diva2:811883
Public defence
2015-05-22, ACAS, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. SMEs in Public markets: intentions, structures and outcomes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>SMEs in Public markets: intentions, structures and outcomes
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the 1990s New Public Management ideas were implemented in the Public Sectors in the Western world. In Sweden one of the stipulated goals was to stimulate SME development. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse how Public markets in different industries have enabled small-business ownership over time.

This longitudinal, quantitative study confirms previous studies that claim that structural prerequisites create barriers for small-business owners in terms of economic and relational dimensions. The findings would not have been revealed without an analysis of the data at the most detailed industry level. Data was available from Statistics Sweden.

The main conclusion is that the relative position of small-business owners is produced and reproduced by the structural prerequisites that prevail in industries. The relative position of small-business owners has increased the most in industries where there was already a private market and a significant proportion of small-business owners. In the other industries  which lacked these structural conditions in 1993, there was little or no change of the relative position over time, despite the fact that the private share of the market expanded.

Public Sector, NPM, small business, public market, private market, female-dominated industries
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117900 (URN)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved
2. Resilient gender order in entrepreneurship: the case of Swedish welfare industries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resilient gender order in entrepreneurship: the case of Swedish welfare industries
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1756-6266, Vol. 7, no 1, 2-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The purpose of this article is to use quantitative empirical data to analyse the degree of resilience, as well as change or reproduction of the gender order, in the era of New Public Management. The propositions are constructed based on liberal- and socialist-feminist perspectives, and discussed in light of the empirical results.


We report from a longitudinal quantitative study of female-dominated welfare industries. Data, available from Statistics Sweden, include the total population of entrepreneurs available on the individual level. However, the level of analysis that was used in the study was in accordance with the industry level. Data were processed from an aggregated level to the most detailed level of classification.


The findings reveal resilience in the prevailing gender order. The order is being reproduced in the entrepreneurship context, in most of the industries that were studied.

Practical implications

The results may potentially have profound impact on entrepreneurship policy, equality policy and public sector restructuring.


This quantitative longitudinal study shows a complex pattern on the detailed industry level, which can be understood in terms of male gender labelling of entrepreneurship. The results thus support previous qualitative studies that have observed this phenomenon. Methodologically, this paper contributes to the field by showing that without breaking down the analysis into the different female-dominated industries on a five-digit level, the various results of the public sector reforms and the attendant gendered effects would not have been revealed.

National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117901 (URN)10.1108/IJGE-09-2013-0057 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
3. Women small-business owners challenge regional gender contracts?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Women small-business owners challenge regional gender contracts?
2015 (English)In: Sustainable Development in Organizations: studies on innovative practices, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, 185-220 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to explore regional gender contracts in a small-business context in the wake of public sector competition. Focus is put on changes over time, through a longitudinal database study of different types of regional gender contracts in Sweden. This will be achieved by comparing women’s under/over-representation of small-business owners in relation to their proportions of the employed, from 1993 to 2008, within female-dominated industries1 affected by public sector competition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117905 (URN)10.4337/9781784716899.00017 (DOI)9781784716882 (ISBN)9781784716899 (ISBN)

At the time for thesis presentation publication was in status: Manuscript

Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2016-08-29Bibliographically approved
4. Childcare entrepreneurship in Women’s ’own rooms’
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childcare entrepreneurship in Women’s ’own rooms’
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this article we analyze how women’s entrepreneurship is affected when a mainly femaledominated industry in the Public Sector is subject to competition. We study the childcare industry in Sweden, where women constitute 90 per cent of the workforce and where a process of competition was initiated in the early 1990s.

From a gender perspective, we investigate whether a male norm of entrepreneurship is also valid within a mainly female-dominated context, or whether the childcare business in Sweden can be conceptualized as “women’s own rooms”, where the preconditions are more promising for women than for men.

Using longitudinal data on all employees and self-employed individuals in the childcare industry in Sweden, we analyze men’s and women’s entrepreneurship in Sweden over the period 1993-2010. Data shows that men run larger and more profitable businesses compared to women, although women business owners have much greater work experience from the industry.

Survival analysis shows that men’s propensity for entry into business ownership in the childcare business is higher than women’s, and that the presence of children in the household increases the propensity for entry of women, but not of men. Regarding exit from business ownership, survival analysis shows that there is no significant difference between men and women, when taking account of firm-specific factors. High exit rates among men are explained by the larger scope of their businesses.

Our conclusion is that a male norm of entrepreneurship features even within the childcare industry. A pattern of “childcare businessmen” on the one hand, and “self-employed childcare worker women” on the other, emerges from our analysis. Hence, the gender system is also reproduced in the context of competition of a mainly female-dominated industry in Sweden.

National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117907 (URN)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(938 kB)199 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 938 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
omslag(208 kB)0 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 208 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sköld, Birgitta
By organisation
Business AdministrationFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 199 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 716 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link