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“To boldly go where no [man] has gone before": Institutional voids and the development of women’s digital entrepreneurship

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date30 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2018


This paper examines the emergence of digital entrepreneurship in the context of emerging economies. Given that these economies generally lack a well-developed institutional framework, we draw on the concept of institutional voids as our theoretical lens. We argue that digital entrepreneurship facilitates the navigation and bridging of socio-cultural institutional voids but also provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to directly and indirectly alter the existing institutional context. We illustrate these arguments by drawing upon six biographical narrations of female digital entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, through our development of a multi-level model, we make explicit the two-way causal interaction between entrepreneurial action, institution altering behaviour and the social and cultural context, thus providing a framework for future research.

    Research areas

  • Saudi Arabia, institutional voids, digital entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurs, biographical narrations

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