Jennifer Jennings

Professor, Alberta School of Business - Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management


Professor, Alberta School of Business - Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management
(780) 492-0648
4-21E Business Building
11203 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2R6



The holder of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Entrepreneurship, Gender, and Family Business, Jennifer is one of Canada’s leading researchers at the intersection of gender, entrepreneurship, and the family embeddedness of entrepreneurial activity. She has published two edited books and approximately 30 scholarly articles and book chapters on these and other topics. Seven of her articles have received “Best Paper” awards at international academic conferences. One of her articles, Aldrich and Cliff (2003), was recently recognized as a “Foundational Paper” by the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management. 

Over the course of her career, Jennifer has played an integral role in strengthening the global profile of scholarly research on gender and entrepreneurship in particular. In 2010, she co-organized and co-hosted the Diana International Conference on Women’s Entrepreneurship Research in Banff. Key outputs of this conference included the production of a co-edited book (for Edward Elgar) and a special issue of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (a top entrepreneurship journal on the FT50 list).

Recognized internationally for her research on female entrepreneurs, Jennifer was recently invited to produce an online compilation entitled “Women’s Entrepreneurship” for Oxford Bibliographies as well as a special “legacy” article to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship. Most recently, she served as an academic advisor for a COVID and women’s entrepreneurship advocacy tool developed by the WE EMPOWER Program (sponsored by UNWomen/EU/ILO). 

Jennifer obtained her Ph.D. in Organizational Behaviour from the University of British Columbia in 2000 (as Jennifer Cliff). She was the silver medalist in the BCom graduating class from Carleton University in 1990 (as Jennifer Huyda). Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, she worked in Vancouver as a marketing manager for an educational institute and as a business consultant for an immigration law firm. 


Jennifer currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), and is a prior editorial board member of the Academy of Management Review (AMR) and the International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship (IJGE). In 2018 she received an Outstanding Reviewer Award at AMR. In 2015 she was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award for her contributions as a Field/Associate Editor at JBV from 2010-2015.

Jennifer also served as a co-author, with Dr. Anthony Briggs, of two outreach reports conducted on behalf of the University of Alberta. The 2012 report examined the institution’s general economic impact. The 2013 report examined the impact of alumni through entrepreneurship and innovation.

In 2009, Jennifer was elected as a Representative-at-Large of the worldwide Academy of Management (AOM)’s Entrepreneurship Division. She served as the Chair of the Membership Committee from 2009-2012, launching the division’s inaugural “New Member Meeting Point” event. She frequently serves in a mentoring capacity at doctoral, new faculty, and mid-career consortium at the AOM annual meetings.  


  • 2022 Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM) Honor Roll 
  • 2021 Foundational Paper Award, Academy of Management (AOM) ENT Division 
  • 2020 Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Entrepreneurship, Gender and Family Business
  • 2018 Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review
  • 2015 Outstanding Service Award, Journal of Business Venturing
  • 2015 Kauffman Foundation Best Paper Award, DIANA International Research Conference
  • 2014 Bertarelli Family Best Paper Award, BCERC-IVEY Entrepreneurship Research Conference
  • 2014 Best Paper Award, DIANA International Research Conference
  • 2012 Best Paper Award (Entrepreneurship and Gender), ACERE-DIANA Conference
  • 2011 McCalla Professorship, University of Alberta
  • 2010 Aldrich and Cliff (2003) appears on list of “25 Most Influential Family Business Articles”
  • 2008 Best Paper Award, DIANA International Research Symposium 
  • 2007 Best Paper Award (High Potential/Fast Growth), AOM ENT Division
  • 2006 Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Business Venturing
  • 2003 Best Paper Award (Women’s Entrepreneurship), AOM ENT Division


Over the course of her academic career, Jennifer has examined a variety of research questions pertaining to entrepreneurship, family business, gender, and the work-family interface. Examples include: How and why do women’s perceptions of entrepreneurship differ from those of men? Do female and male entrepreneurs tend to organize, manage, and grow their firms differently? To what extent are the entrepreneurial decisions and activities of women versus men differentially affected by family embeddedness considerations, gendered labour market experiences, and gender stereotypes? What are the implications for firm innovativeness, venture performance, and the wellbeing of entrepreneurs and their families? 

Jennifer’s research on these topics (and others) has been published in numerous leading general management journals, including the Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of International Business Studies, and Organization Studies. Her work also appears in several top entrepreneurship, family business, and family science journals, including Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Family Business Review, Family Relations, and the Journal of Business Venturing. 

An outreach article summarizing several of her women’s entrepreneurship studies was recently published in the leading science communication publication, Scientia.

When asked to state the main thing that she has learned from conducting research on female entrepreneurs, Jennifer responded as follows: “It’s that entrepreneurship is not a gender-neutral phenomenon.


Since arriving at the Alberta School of Business in 1999, Jennifer has taught courses in general management, family enterprise, and entrepreneurship at the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. levels respectively.

Early on in her career, she played a lead role in designing a Major in Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise for the Alberta School of Business, which was the first of its kind in Canada. In the summer of 2018, she and Dr. Angelique Slade Shantz led a research-oriented course for undergrad students dedicated to the “grand challenge” of gender-based pay inequity. This unique course was nominated for a university-wide teaching award.

In addition to acting as the supervisor (or co-supervisor) of several Ph.D. students, Jennifer has overseen numerous individual research projects for undergrad and MBA students. She previously served as the Course Coordinator for SMO 310, the Faculty Advisor for the SMO Club, and the Associate Director (Programs) for the school’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise (CEFE).

In 2011, Jennifer’s contributions on the teaching front were recognized with a university-level McCalla Professorship.

Teaching Experience

  • SMO 201 Introduction to Management
  • SMO 310 Introduction to Management
  • SMO 428 Managing Family Enterprise
  • SMO 488 Topics in Organization Theory
  • SMO 628 Managing Family Enterprise
  • SMO 704 Individual Research
  • SEM 705 Seminar in Contemporary Issues – Becoming a Management Professor
  • SMO 707 Seminar in Special Organizational Topics
  • SEM 711 Seminar in Entrepreneurship

Upcoming Teaching

Jennifer is thrilled to be back in the classroom. She will be delivering the SEM Ph.D. seminar in Entrepreneurship in the Winter 2023 term.


SEM 704 - Individual Research

Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Business PhD Program Director is also required for non-PhD students.

SEM 711 - Seminar in Entrepreneurship

This seminar introduces students to the major phenomenological topics and theoretical perspectives within the domain of entrepreneurship research. Illustrative phenomenological topics include opportunity recognition/construction, new venture creation, and resource acquisition. Illustrative theoretical perspectives include cognitive, affective and cultural approaches. The course enhances understanding of mid-range theory building and testing more broadly. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

Browse more courses taught by Jennifer Jennings


Exploring the Link Between Gender and Entrepreneurship

Author(s): Jennings, J. E.
Publication Date: 11/11/2022
Publication: Scientia
DOI: 10.33548/SCIENTIA850

Research on gender stereotyping and entrepreneurship: Suggestions for some paths worth pursuing

Author(s): Jennings, J. E., Tonoyan, V.
Publication Date: 7/12/2022
Publication: Entrepreneurship Research Journal
Volume: 12
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 187-212
DOI: 10.1515/erj-2022-0235

Challenging what we think we know: Theory and evidence for questioning common beliefs about the gender gap in entrepreneurial confidence

Author(s): Jennings, J. E., Rahman, Z., & Dempsey, D.
Publication Date: 6/14/2022
Publication: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
DOI: 10.1177/10422587221102108

Treating nonfamily managers like family: New insights from a re-analysis of pre-existing qualitative interview data. In Handbook of qualitative research methods for family business

Author(s): E.A Jennings, J.E., James, A.E., & Tetzlaff
Publication Date: 3/10/2020
Publication: Edward Elgar

Gender gaps in perceived start-up ease: Implications of sex-based labor market segregation for entrepreneurship across 22 European countries.

Author(s): Tonoyan, V., Strohmeyer, R., & Jennings, J.E.
Publication Date: 3/1/2020
Publication: Administrative Science Quarterly
Volume: 65
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 181 – 225
External Link:

A legacy of attention to embeddedness in gendered institutions: Reflections on a key emphasis (and contribution) of women’s entrepreneurship research.

Author(s): Hughes, K.D. & Jennings, J.E.
Publication Date: 1/15/2020
Publication: International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 53-76
External Link:

Going home and helping out? Returnees as propagators of CSR in an emerging economy. Journal of International Business Studies.

Author(s): Han, Q., Jennings, J.E., Liu, R., & Jennings, P.D.
Publication Date: 1/18/2019
Publication: Journal of International Business Studies
Volume: 50
Page Numbers: 857-872
External Link:

Looking in the other direction: An ethnographic analysis of how family businesses can be operated to enhance familial wellbeing.

Author(s): Nordstrom, O. & Jennings, J.E.
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Publication: Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice
Volume: 42
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 317-339
External Link:

Bifurcated HR practices in family firms: Insights from the normative-adaptive approach to stepfamilies.

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Dempsey, D., & James, A.E.
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Publication: Human Resource Management Review
Volume: 28
Page Numbers: 68-82
External Link:

Jacks-(and Jills)-of-all-trades: On whether, how and why gender influences firm innovativeness.

Author(s): Strohmeyer, R., Tonoyan, V. & Jennings, J.E.
Publication Date: 7/22/2017
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 32
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 498-518
External Link:

Is it better to govern managers via agency or stewardship? Examining asymmetries by family versus nonfamily affiliation.

Author(s): James, A.E., Jennings, J.E., & Jennings, P.D.
Publication Date: 7/14/2017
Publication: Family Business Review
Volume: 30
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 262-283
External Link:

Living the dream? Assessing the ‘entrepreneurship as emancipation’ perspective in a developed region.

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Jennings, P.D., & Sharifian, M.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Volume: 40
Page Numbers: 81-110
External Link:

Emotional arousal and entrepreneurial outcomes: Generating elaborated theory by combining qualitative methods.

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Edwards, T., Jennings, P.D., & Delbridge, R.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 30
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 113-130
External Link:

Gender and entrepreneurial self-efficacy: A learning perspective.

Author(s): Dempsey, D. & Jennings, J.
Publication Date: 3/4/2014
Publication: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 28-49
External Link:

When family members are also business owners: Is entrepreneurship good for families?

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Breitkreuz, R.S. & James, A.E.
Publication Date: 6/4/2013
Publication: Family Relations
Volume: 62
Page Numbers: 472-489
External Link:

Research on women entrepreneurs: Challenges to (and from) the broader entrepreneurship literature?

Author(s): Jennings, J.E. & Brush, C.G.
Publication Date: 4/22/2013
Publication: The Academy of Management Annals
Volume: 7
Page Numbers: 661-713
External Link:

Extending women’s entrepreneurship research in new directions.

Author(s): Hughes, K.D., Jennings, J.E., Brush, C., Carter, S. & Welter, F.
Publication Date: 5/1/2012
Publication: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Volume: 36
Page Numbers: 429-442
External Link:

Worlds apart? Re-bridging the distance between family science and family business research.

Author(s): James, A.E., Jennings, J.E. & Breitkreuz, R.S.
Publication Date: 8/1/2011
Publication: Family Business Review – 25th Anniversary Special Issue
Volume: 25
Page Numbers: 87-108
External Link:

Novelty and new firm performance: The case of employment systems in knowledge-intensive service firms.

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Jennings, P.D. & Greenwood, R.
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 24
Page Numbers: 338-359
External Link:

Do the stories they tell get them the money they need? The role of entrepreneurial narratives in resource acquisition

Author(s): Martens, M.L., Jennings, J.E. & Jennings, P.D.
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Volume: 50
Page Numbers: 1107-1132
External Link:

Work-family interface experiences and coping strategies: Implications for entrepreneurship research and practice

Author(s): Jennings, J.E. & McDougald, M.S.
Publication Date: 7/2/2007
Publication: Academy of Management Review
Volume: 32
Page Numbers: 747-760
External Link:

New to the game and questioning the rules: The experiences and beliefs of founders who start imitative vs. innovative firms.

Author(s): Cliff, J.E., Jennings, P.D., & Greenwood, R.
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 21
Page Numbers: 633-663
External Link:

The strategic positioning of professional service firm start-ups: Balance beguiles but purism pays.

Author(s): Jennings, J.E., Jennings, P.D., & Greenwood, R.
Publication Date: 6/26/2006
Publication: Research in the Sociology of Organizations
Volume: 24
Page Numbers: 45-68
External Link:

Commentary on the multidimensional degree of family influence construct and the F-PEC measurement instrument.

Author(s): Cliff, J.E. & Jennings, P.D.
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Publication: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Volume: 29
Page Numbers: 341-347
External Link:

Walking the talk? Gendered rhetoric vs. action in small firms.

Author(s): Cliff, J.E., Langton, N. & Aldrich, H.E.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Organization Studies
Volume: 26
Page Numbers: 61-89
External Link:

The pervasive effects of family on entrepreneurship: Toward a family embeddedness perspective.

Author(s): Aldrich, H.E. & Cliff, J.E.
Publication Date: 9/1/2003
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 18
Page Numbers: 573-597
External Link:

Exploring the relationship between attitudes towards growth, gender, and business size.

Author(s): Cliff, J.E.
Publication Date: 11/1/1998
Publication: Journal of Business Venturing
Volume: 13
Page Numbers: 523-542
External Link: