Thesis_Griffiths_Nicole_Innovate, Hibernate, Liquidate – The Motivation of Female Entrepreneurs in Regional Western Australia During Times of Crisis.pdf (2.48 MB)

Innovate, hibernate, liquidate – The motivation of female entrepreneurs in regional Western Australia during times of crisis

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posted on 2024-03-05, 23:18 authored by Nicole GriffithsNicole Griffiths
The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses on a global scale and while there is substantial research on crisis and small business, most of the studies in this area are focused on crisis management and financing. Motivation plays an important part in a business owner’s ability to succeed, however, there are limited studies specifically investigating the business owner’s motivations during a global crisis and their decision to innovate or strategically change their business. This study focused on female entrepreneurs in regional Western Australia (WA) and how the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis affected their motivation for their business. This was achieved by investigating how COVID-19 motivated female entrepreneurs in regional WA to innovate, hibernate or liquidate their businesses; exploring the outcomes of any changes they made to their businesses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis; and exploring how COVID-19 affected their motivations towards their business. An analysis of motivations of female entrepreneurs during times of crisis was conducted with reference to literature from the fields of entrepreneurship and crisis management. In particular, key motivational theories such as the self-determination theory and the push-pull theory were applied. The research project applied an autoethnographic approach, whereby the researcher is immersed and positioned within the researched community and was able to recognise her own experiences and contributions to knowledge. There are few published examples of autoethnographic studies in the field of entrepreneurship; hence, this approach provided a deeper understanding of the subject than conventional entrepreneurship research methods. Three data sources were used to collect data including: semi-structured interviews, participant observation and researcher’s reflections. Through qualitative analysis of the data, six key themes emerged which provided an insight into the three research questions. These themes laid the foundation for understanding why female entrepreneurs were motivated to innovate, hibernate or liquidate their business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the study showed that female entrepreneurs either innovated their business, hibernated their business or liquidated their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, of the 14 business owners interviewed (which also included the researcher) nine innovated, five hibernated and one liquidated her business. While many of the female entrepreneurs in this study were financially impacted, most were able to adapt quickly. The study contributes valuable knowledge to the field of entrepreneurship; specifically, how motivational factors influence the strategic decisions of female entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs were determined to succeed through the COVID-19 pandemic and were thereby motivated to change their business. This included increased use of technology to improve their business, learning new skills, exploring new opportunities and finding new revenue streams. With an increasing number of regional Australian female business owners, this research provides policy makers, entrepreneurs themselves, training and educational institutions and other relevant organisations insights into the challenges faced during major economic crises such as COVID-19.


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Central Queensland University


Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Queensland

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Doctor Stephanie Macht ; Doctor Geoffrey Chapman ; Professor Santina Bertone

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis

Thesis Format

  • Traditional

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