Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Female Entrepreneurs and Negotiation Self-Efficacy: A Study on Negotiation Skill Building among Women Entrepreneurs

Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Female Entrepreneurs and Negotiation Self-Efficacy: A Study on Negotiation Skill Building among Women Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurship has long been established as a vital component of a growing economy. In 2011, over 543,000 businesses were created each month (Fairlie, 2012). In the United States, 10.4 percent of the female population between 18-64 years of age are nascent entrepreneurs or current owners or managers of a business (Kelley, 2011). Women owned businesses account for $1.2 trillion in sales/receipts and employed 7.6 million workers (Administration, 2010). Such a powerful economic force requires a myriad of resources. This includes effective training and development programs. Key stakeholders of this economic force continuously seek to understand the educational needs of female entrepreneurs, including curriculum requirements, effective teaching pedagogies, learning assessments, and modes of content delivery (A. C. L. Martinez, Jonathan; Kelley, Donna J.; Rognvaldur, Saemundsson J.; Schott, Thomas, 2008; Terjesen & Elam, 2012).

While a growing number of universities now offer degree programs in entrepreneurship, there are countless entrepreneurial training programs available to both nascent and seasoned entrepreneurs offered outside academic institutions (A. C. L. Martinez, Jonathan; Kelley, Donna J.; Rognvaldur, Saemundsson J.; Schott, Thomas, 2008). These programs provide entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to launch, grow and sustain entrepreneurial endeavors (Raposo, 2011). Negotiation is a specific interpersonal skill in the development of social competence and has been recognized as an important skillset for entrepreneurs (Hoehn-Weiss, Brush, & Baron, 2004). Negotiation skills are typically taught with in the context of leadership, communication or conflict management courses (Roy Lewicki, 1997). Due to this recognized skillset, a growing number of universities and professional training centers now offer negotiation skill building courses and seminars (Kenworthy, 2010; Thompson & Leonardelli, 2004).

Female entrepreneurs who lack career experiences where the skill of negotiation is commonly practiced and developed can find the process of negotiation to be intimidating and a significant obstacle to overcome in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial endeavors (D. M. Kolb, 2009; Martinez, 2008). As such, female entrepreneurs often lack confidence when entering a situation in the development of their business that requires astute negotiation skills. This impacts their ability to initiate the behaviors necessary to achieve successful outcomes in negotiating for resources to support their business.

Self-efficacy has emerged as a proven construct to evaluate learning and change (A. Bandura, 2012). Self-efficacy is based on Social Learning Theory and can be explained as the confidence an individual has for persevering through specific tasks in order to achieve desired performance outcomes (A. Bandura, 1999). The entrepreneurial self-efficacy construct has been utilized in the field of entrepreneurship education (Hao, Seibert, & Hills, 2005; Wilson, Kickul, & Marlino, 2007; Wilson, Kickul, Marlino, Barbosa, & Griffiths, 2009). However, there is little research available on negotiation self-efficacy among female entrepreneurs. This study will focus on the development of negotiation skills among women entrepreneurs in order to increase negotiation self-efficacy in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

This research will address the following questions:

1) How do female entrepreneurs assess their confidence in their negotiation skills?

2) What can educators do to increase entrepreneurial negotiation self-efficacy among women entrepreneurs?

3) What specific task areas among distributive and integrative negotiation strategies can be most impacted by negotiation skill building?

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Entrepreneurial Education

According to a Special Report by the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (A. C. L. …

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