Mongolia-born, Bat Batjargal is a lecturer in social sciences at Harvard plus he’s an Oxford-trained political scientist. And he’s been studying intercultural business networks for over 12 years in China, England, Germany, Japan, Russia, the Philippines, and the United States. And he teaches and consults in Boston, Moscow, Tokyo, and Beijing, where he is on the faculty at Peking University.
So, he sure seems to be a credible expert. In February he reported differences between female and male entrepreneurs with one culturally - expected study result:
1. “Women entrepreneurs have larger social networks for advice and resources.”
… and two other findings that may surprise some people:
2. “Men have larger 'emotional' networks - the complex of associations that provide warmth, praise, and encouragement.”
3. “Men apparently profit more from these emotional attachments than women do.”
Wow. Well, remember this is about building relationships for business, not for one’s personal life, yet those are murky boundaries these days. For many men and women entrepreneurs, there may be few boundaries between their work and their life. But back to that at the end of this post.
Even more fascinating to me: In this first part of his wide study, he was observing, not Americans, but entrepreneurs in China and Russia.
Here's more highlights. Perhaps amusingly, Batjargal told Ireland that, “Men who are entrepreneurs have a lot in common with their female counterparts: They are young, energetic, and focused to the point of being obnoxious.”
According to Batjargal, women entrepreneurs develop large networks, but these connections not only hurt profitability, "They are not only useless, but even toxic and harmful," said Batjargal.
The bigger the networks are for female entrepreneurs, the more they seem to drag down revenue growth. Women have big networks, he said, but they include "lots of the wrong people, and people who have no useful resources."
Notes Ireland, “Batjargal, a self-described ‘survey guy’ who loves numbers and tabulation, hopes that his study will point women entrepreneurs in a different direction.
The research is not meant to perpetuate old stereotypes about gender and business – ‘Our aim is more noble,’ he said. ‘We want to give tailored advice to women. That means finding those conditions and nuances in which women might outperform men.”
Batjargal speculated that "women network for the sake of relationships, and men for utility."