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LOGIN 191D HIST / 201H HIST: Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: U.S.: Who Are These Guys? Women, Men, and Entrepreneurship in America, 1900 to 2000
W 09:00A -- 11:50A    BUNCHE 3288

Instructor Office Phone Number Email Office Hours
Yeager, Mary A. 7381 Bunche 310 825-3489, 310 825-4601 yeager@ucla.edu

Printer-Friendly Version of Syllabus
This course uses the history of several select industries to analyze gender wars in business


 “Who Are Those Guys?” Women, Men and Entrepreneurship in American Business History”

H. 191d


UCLA, Winter 2007

Prof. Mary A. Yeager

Office: Bunche Hall #7381

Seminar: Bunch #3288

Office Hours: T- 1:30-3:30

Email: yeager@ucla.edu

Fax: 310-278-5311



“Who are Those Guys?” is a question  that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid asked as the sheriff’s posse threatened.    This course asks:  “What about the Gals?”   The study of entrepreneurship has been dominated historically by male scholars in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, history and management.   Male voices and experiences continue to supply the basic building blocks for histories and theories of entrepreneurship.   Judging from the historiography, it seems as though women, with some rare exceptions,   have never practiced, thought, theorized,  or even written about entrepreneurship. 

The media image of five of America’s notable contemporary entrepreneurs—featured on page one of the syllabus-- raises more questions than it answers.   Why is Martha Stewart grouped with these other men and dressed in the same Napoleonic garb?  What has “power” got to do with entrepreneurship?  With what businesses are these entrepreneurs associated?  Despite the presence of female entrepreneurs throughout history,  rarely have they been grouped alongside other male entrepreneurs.  Even when some women have earned the designation “entrepreneur,” as has Martha Stewart,  the media and the public have had trouble situating female entrepreneurs and evaluating their economic and historical significance.  Are women or men the problem?  Or is entrepreneurship, as concept and practice, the problem?  If,  as the media image suggests, Martha cannot be both woman and entrepreneur,  what is to be done to understand the history of entrepreneurship in America?

This course searches for answers in the gendering processes that have shaped histories and theories of entrepreneurship as well as in changing entrepreneurial practices and outcomes.  It broadens the study of entrepreneurship from a male-dominated scholarly endeavor to a multidisciplinary field of study that applies a combination of disciplinary tools and perspectives to illuminate entrepreneurial experiences, activities and outcomes of both men and women in business.   Among numerous questions raised by the course are the following:   What is entrepreneurship?  How and why is entrepreneurship important for an understanding of economic growth and development, or is it?  Are there alternative perspectives about entrepreneurship that deserve greater scrutiny? How do particular theories of entrepreneurship illuminate entrepreneurial histories, or do they?  Why or why not?  Historically, who has earned or been designated an entrepreneur?  How have entrepreneurial identities been defined, and by whom?  What has been the  impact of entrepreneurship on the course of American economic development?  How do we account for changing entrepreneurial cultures and  faces in the United States?  What has the historical  study of entrepreneurship told us about American economies and cultures?


Course Requirements:


Paper Assignment. Worth 45%

One Verbal Report.  Worth 25%

Discussion Contribution. Worth 30%.


Students will be assigned by lot, (Week II) one of the following autobiographies/histories:   Carly Fiorina, Tough Choices;  Sandy Weill, The Real Deal;  Richard Tedlow, Andy Grove.    This book will serve as a template for an analytical paper due Week 10, worth 45 percent.*  Each student will  prepare a verbal report on the history of the  industry represented in each of the books:  HP, City National Bank, Intel.  The final analytical paper will incorporate information on the life history of the individual and the changing competitive dynamics of the industry under review.   Ideally, these two aspects of the history will be integrated into an analytical narrative that deals with issues of gender, competition, and business outcomes.  Students may examine reviews of the books and newspaper coverage.  However, it is imperative that the papers be written in your own words, reflecting your own style, and the learning that has evolved during class. 


The paper is to be 12-15 pages in length, including references.  It must be typed or printed from a computer, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and font size #12, or the equivalent.   Appropriate citations are to be provided for all sources consulted and/or quoted.  Quoted materials should be kept to a minimum.  The paper also must contain a reference section or bibliography.   You may refer to Kate L. Turabian. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (6th ed.; Chicago and London:  University of Chicago Press, 1996) or The Chicago Manual of Style ( any recent, revised and expanded edition).  Papers should be paginated (center, bottom) and your name should appear once on the cover sheet, with your id number, your e-mail address,  and a telephone number where you can be reached.  I will not accept electronic versions (i.e., e-mails, e-mail attachments, faxes, etc.) of papers under any circumstances.


I consider the paper to be an on-going community project, one that will enable all of us to interact throughout the quarter as engaged participants in a developing economy.  As with any project, there are deadlines:   Students will submit 1)the paper topic and a preliminary bibliography of at least 4 sources (Feb. ___);  2) an annotated bibliography including at least 5 annotated sources (Feb.___); and 3) a three page outline of the paper, including a thesis statement and a draft of the first paragraph (March ).  These three mini assignments will comprise 15 points (5 points each) of the final paper grade.  Late “mini-assignments” will be penalized by a two point deduction and will not be accepted if they are later than one week.  Though not required, I encourage students to submit drafts of their papers whenever possible.  Most students improve immensely from one draft to the next, and benefit from discussing papers with their professors.    Students will present the preliminary results of their research in class, with a 10 minute verbal discussion of the issues highlighted in the paper during the last two weeks of class. The final paper is due at the start of the last day of class.  The completed paper is worth 50% of the grade.  Verbal presentation of the paper is worth 20% of the final grade. 


Academic Integrity.

                Any forms of cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty will result in course failure and possible expulsion. Unfortunately, due to abuses in the past, I will no longer agree to sign retroactive drop slips. Students need to consult university rules and regulations regarding the procedures to follow for dropping courses.



Course Grading Scale.

                93-100= A                   80-82= B-

                90-92= A-                    78-79= C+

                88-89= B+                    73-77= C

                83-87= B                       70-72= C-     ….and so on…..


Class Attendance, Discussion sections.

                No input, no output. If students are to learn from and to fairly evaluate a course, I expect students to participate fully in the course, which means consistent attendance and active, intelligent participation. Sections will be devoted to a discussion of a particular set of problems brought out in n readings.  Active and intelligent discussion participation is worth 30 % of the final grade.  To fuel  interest, each student will galvanize discussion on a particular assigned reading, at least once during the quarter.  Assignments will be drawn by lot, the first day of class, or assigned by the professor.

                Personally, I hope that students will take discussion sections as seriously as I do. My experience in the past is that most students who take the course need and want to talk about the economy but don't really know how.  This is your opportunity.



Required Readings Available for Purchase at the Associated Students Store, UCLA:


Laird, Pamela.  Pull


Roberts, John. Modern Firm


Walker, Juliette.  History of Black Business in America


Bryant, History of American Business


Shane, Scott.  General Theory of Entrepreneurship


Swedberg, Richard.  Entrepreneurship


REQUIRED, reference section library, URL(contains articles in required readings):


Yeager, Mary. Women In Business, 3 vols. (Elgar)[listed in readings as WIB]






WEEK I.  INTRODUCTION.   “What if the Heffalump were a Sheffalump?”:  Pooh’s Entrepreneurial Adventures Revisited

                Submit your nominations, including the criteria,  for:

The Most Economically Powerful Male and Female Entrepreneur in the  American Economy1900 and 2006

Bryant, History of American Business


WEEK II.  “Disciplinary and Gendered Civil Wars”

Required Readings:


Richard Swedberg, “The Social Science View of Entrepreneurship:  Introduction and Practical Applications,” and “Different Social Science Perspectives on Entrepreneurship,” 8-50

 Joseph A. Schumpter, “Entrepreneurship as Innovation,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP,  51-87;

Mark Blaug, “Entrepreneurship before and After Schumpeter,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, 76-88.


WEEK III. “Re-Imagining the Firm and  the Entrepreneur and Re-Considering the Corporation”

Required Readings:


Harold C. Livesay, “Entrepreneurial Dominance in Businesses Large and Small, Past and Present,  BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW 63(Spring 1989), 1-21.

Roberts, Modern Firm


Weeks IV .   “Entrepreneurship as Historical Process”


Required Readings:

Scott Shane, A General Theory of Entreprneurship:  The Individual-Opportunity Nexus,  1-17


Week V.     “Sniffing and Exploiting  Entrepreneurial Opportunities”:  How Does Gender Make a Difference? Or, Does it? 

Shane, “The Role of Opportunities,  and “The Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities," Shane, “Individual Differences and the Decision to Exploit,”  Pscyhlogical Factors and the Decision to Exploit,”  “Industry Differences in Entrepreneurial Activity,” in GENERAL THEORY, 18-160



Week VI.  “Forging Values and Valuing Cultures”

Seymour Martin Lipset, “Values and Entrepreneurship in the Americas,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP,  110-128

Ronald S. Burt, “The Network Entrepreneur,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, 281-307

Monica Lindh de Montoya, “Entrepreneurship and Culture:  The Case of Freddy, the Strawberry Man,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP


Week VII.  “The Reconstruction of Race and Ethnicity in the History of Entrepreneurship”


Roger Waldinger, Howard Aldrich, and Robin Ward, “Ethnic Entrepreneurs,” in Swedberg, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, 356-388


                                Juliette Walker, History of Black Busienss in America, selected chapters allocated



WEEK VIII.  “Building and Using Networks”

                                Pamela Laird,  PULL

WEEK  IX.   Identities, Industries, and Individuals


                      Student Reports on Fiorina, Weill, and Grove






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