Not All Entrepreneurs are Equal

  • Wed 25 Jan 23

    13:00 - 14:00

  • Online

    join this seminar

  • Event speaker

    Dr Sonia Siraz, Essex Business School

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Management and Marketing Group Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Min (Yami) Yan

The Management and Marketing Research Group at the Essex Business School warmly welcome you to this research seminar with the groups own Dr Sonia Siraz presenting her work on how ethno-racial status characteristics affect legitimacy perceptions about entrepreneurs .

Seminar summary

This paper sheds light on how ethno-racial status characteristics affect legitimacy perceptions about entrepreneurs. Our findings establish causally that compared to nonminority entrepreneurs; minority entrepreneurs are perceived less legitimate due to their ethno-racial attributes. Moreover, we reveal the presence of an ethno-racial hierarchy among different minority groups that increases the harshness of legitimacy perceptions for ascribed lower status minority groups. While entrepreneurs’ higher level of education alleviates some of those inequalities, it fails to eliminate them completely. Worse, the gap in legitimacy perceptions increases unfavourably for minorities when comparing highly educated nonminority and highly educated minority entrepreneurs. We further demonstrate that observers’ beliefs in a just world play a fundamental role in mitigating or increasing the harshness of legitimacy perceptions. Through three conjoint experiment studies, totalling 22,608 evaluations nested in 1,413 observers in the United States, we examine how entrepreneurs from two minority groups, Black Americans and Latinx, are judged relative to nonminority entrepreneurs (White Americans) after their endeavours have failed. We then further examine whether there are differences when these two groups of minority entrepreneurs are judged relative to each other. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of how system inequality and prejudice endure in business lowering the economic potential of minority entrepreneurs.


How to attend this seminar

We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 25 January 2023 at 1pm.

This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.


Speaker bio

Dr Sonia Siraz

Dr. Sonia S. Siraz is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Essex Business School, Faculty of Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Management, with the highest distinction, from IE Business School, Madrid, Spain, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Organization Theory and Strategic Management. Before joining EBS, she was a postdoctoral research scholar (collaborating with Sharon A. Alvarez) at the Katz Graduate School of Business of the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Dr. Siraz's research program is broadly concerned with understanding the different factors that enhance or constrain the success of entrepreneurial endeavors, and innovations in new and established firms. More specifically, she is interested in studying how different audiences make legitimacy judgments under conditions that promote lack of legitimacy and their implications for entrepreneurial endeavors (especially for minority-owned ventures such as immigrant- and female-owned ventures as well as ventures operating in controversial sectors such as fracking, cannabis, etc.)

Her work draws on theories from legitimacy, justice, social psychology, and linguistics to reveal the micro-foundational mechanisms that explain observed macro phenomena. To carry out her research, Dr. Siraz employs various methods, such as conjoint experiments, surveys, interviews, and text analysis. Combining different methods has allowed her to embark on the examination of unique and as-of-yet unaddressed research questions.


Professor Sharon A. Alvarez

Sharon A. Alvarez is the Thomas W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Alvarez’s work explores the possibility that opportunities are created and exploited by those seeking to generate economic profits.

Professor Alvarez is currently President of the Academy of Management; she is Past Chair of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management and was the 2015 Denver Program Chair for the Strategic Management Society (SMS) as well as Representative at Large for the SMS Entrepreneurship Interest Group. She is past associate editor for the Academy of Management Review and past associate editor for Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. Her work has been published in a multitude of top-tier journals and outlets, including Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, and Human Resource Management Journal.

Professor Alvarez’s paper (with Barney) “Discovery and Creation: Alternative Theories of Entrepreneurial Action” won the Academy of Management’s Entrepreneurship Division 2019 Foundational Paper Award as well as the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal Best Paper Award. Her paper (with Barney) “Forming and Exploiting Opportunities : The Implications of Discovery and Creation Processes for Entrepreneurial and Organizational Research” was the runner-up for the INFORMS award ; and her paper (with Barney) “How Entrepreneurs Organize under Conditions of Uncertainty” won the Journal of Management Best Paper Award. Her work in the Journal of Management is the 27th most cited article in the last 50 years; she has currently close to 16,000 citations overall. To this day, the paper “Discovery and Creation: Alternative Theories of Entrepreneurial Action” is the most cited paper in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.


Dr. Björn Claes

Dr Björn Claes is Senior Lecturer in Operations Management, and Teaching Director of the Masters’ Programmes at the Open University Business School in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. His research interests include the behavioral aspects in supply chain management, as well as the issues surrounding the legitimacy of individuals, processes, and business entities. Dr. Claes’ work has been published in journals such as Journal of Management Studies, Human Resource Management, Industrial Marketing Management, The Journal of Production Economics, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Prometheus, Supply Chain Forum, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, among others.

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