Professor Maura McAdam wins Best Paper Award at the 2019 Diana Conference

DCU Business School Professor Maura McAdam was recently awarded the Best Qualitative Paper Award at the 14th Diana International Conference held in Babson College, June 2019. The paper, “Online Communities and Entrepreneuring Mothers: Practices of Being, Building and Belonging”, co-authored with Dr Natalia Vershinina (University of Birmingham) and Ms Nichola Philips (De Montfort University), examines how entrepreneurial actors collectively interpret and negotiate the challenges of combining entrepreneurship and parenthood.

The  paper adopts a multi-staged research design, incorporating elements of netnography, participant observations and a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with entrepreneuring mothers across different stages of development of their ventures.  Analysis of the reported experiences and observed interactions of entrepreneuring mothers reveals the particular benefits and support women seek and derive from community engagement and shows how key characteristics of the online environment can facilitate the development of strategies to overcome contextual constraints.  The empirical insights gleaned into the mundane discursive practices online illuminate the development of entrepreneurial competencies, suggesting co-operative and communal aspects of entrepreneurship may be particularly important to women.

The Diana Project was established in 1999 to raise awareness and expectations of women business owners regarding the growth of their firms.  Diana conferences provide an annual forum to share and develop a global research agenda in women’s entrepreneurship across continents, cultures and contexts. The Diana International Research Conference brings together more than 100 scholars worldwide, providing an annual forum to share global research dedicated to asking and answering questions about women entrepreneurs and how they grow their ventures. The 14th annual conference took place on June 2-4, 2019 at Babson College, Wellesley, MA

Maura is a full Professor of Management and the first Director of Entrepreneurship at Dublin City University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar within the area of entrepreneurship having particular expertise in gender, entrepreneurial leadership, technology entrepreneurship and family business. Accordingly, her research has been published in top-rated North American and UK journals. In addition, she has authored the book ‘Female Entrepreneurship’ and co-authored the book “Entrepreneurial Behaviour” and is currently leading a €1m European Commission funded project investigating gender inequalities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Maura is an experienced entrepreneurship educator and her use of innovative teaching practices has been recognized in her receipt of several teaching awards including more recently the 2019 Irish Women’s Award for her Services to Education. Maura is a regular commentator on female entrepreneurship, women in leadership, accelerators and women in family business, on radio and in print.