Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Danny Norton Bellenger

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Loch

Third Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnson


Recent studies have revealed that students are ambivalent about contemplating entrepreneurship as a career, and that only a few anticipate following a career in entrepreneurship after graduation. Moreover, within the start-up industry, the gender gap is still evident. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how and why women choose to pursue a career in either entrepreneurship or the corporate world, through the framing theory of Eagly’s Social Role Theory of Gender Difference. The researcher explored this phenomenon through a qualitative research method and a multiple case study design. The target population for this study was composed of first generation female entrepreneurs and corporate employees. The study sample consisted of 18 women; nine of these participants were first generation female entrepreneurs and nine participants were first generation corporate businesswomen. The key instrument of data collection in the study was open-ended interviews, with the collection of field notes during the interviews for triangulation purposes. The researcher subsequently analyzed the collected data with the help of Nvivo software.