Self-Perceptions of Leadership by Mexican American Women
Date of Degree
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Esmeralda De Los Santos
This study attempted to contribute to research regarding successful Mexican American women entrepreneurs by highlighting the issues that they faced in becoming successful.
There is a growing trend of Mexican American women entrepreneurs in the Southwest United States. Currently 2.6% of Mexican American women own businesses, and 5.6% of all women are self-employed business owners. This study attempted to contribute to research regarding successful Mexican American women entrepreneurs by highlighting the issues that they faced in becoming successful. The study addressed the following research questions: How do the Mexican American women in this study perceive their leadership, given their cultural influence as Mexican Americans, in becoming successful entrepreneurs? What characteristics do they perceive as integral in becoming successful entrepreneurs? An interpretive qualitative methodology, with semi-structured interviews, was designed to collect data from 10 Mexican American women entrepreneurs. The underlying framework of the study was Likert's theory on four leadership styles for effective management. This theory has been utilized in prior management studies, making it a good fit for the research given that the intent of the study was to focus on Mexican American women entrepreneurs who are owners of their own businesses. The framework facilitated the researcher's exploration of the self-perceptions of these entrepreneurs, based upon their responses in the study interviews. The findings revealed the following common themes in the experiences of the women entrepreneurs: (a) The beginnings, (b) Turning Points, (c) Entrepreneurial spirit, and (d) Protective factors. The research also revealed that the women perceived their leadership, given their cultural influence as Mexican Americans, as influenced by a desire for personal growth and life struggles which persuaded them to become entrepreneurs. The characteristics which appeared integral to their success as entrepreneurs included being strong independent women, risk takers, and participatory leaders.
Gutierrez, Jacqueline, "Self-Perceptions of Leadership by Mexican American Women" (2012). Theses & Dissertations. 261.