Competitive Pressures and Transition to Entrepreneurship: Empirical Evidence from Female Workers

Virgilio Failla, Francesca Melillo, Toke Reichstein

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    This paper investigates whether the likelihood of entrepreneurial activity is associated with the competitive pressures for promotion within a firm. We argue that competitive pressures increase the relative attractiveness of entrepreneurship as a career option. We test our prediction using a comprehensive matched employer-employee longitudinal data set from Denmark. To mitigate endogeneity concerns, we exploit variation in the gender composition of established firms as women are systematically found to be less competitive than man. We find that workers are more likely to become entrepreneurs if they start working in organizational settings with strong competitive pressures. Furthermore, this competitive effect is more pronounced in firms that are entrepreneurially prominent, i.e. firms that spawn more entrepreneurial ventures, suggesting that combining different sources of incentives to entrepreneurship has a positive non-linear effect. Our results have strong implications for managers, prospect entrepreneurs and policy makers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Number of pages39
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventThe DRUID 20th Anniversary Conference 2016: Innovation and the Dynamics of Change - Copenhagen Business School, København, Denmark
    Duration: 13 Jun 201615 Jun 2016
    Conference number: 38


    ConferenceThe DRUID 20th Anniversary Conference 2016
    LocationCopenhagen Business School
    OtherThe DRUID Society Conference 2016
    SponsorCopenhagen Business School
    Internet address


    • Competitive pressures
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Entrepreneurial prominence
    • Gender

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