Dr. Laura Bechthold

Former Research Fellow

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Areas of Interest

Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Education, Experimental Economics, Female Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Psychology

Academic Résumé

11/2017 - 2018

Junior Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research). Doctoral Thesis: “Motives and Motivators for Female Entrepreneurship – Empirical Investigation of Fear of Failure, Social Learning, and Team Emotional Intelligence.”

2013 - 2017

External Junior Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research)

Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer, Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) of LMU and TU Munich

Doctoral Candidate, LMU Munich

2014 - 2017

Postgraduate Studies in Business Research (Master of Business Research) at Munich School of Management, LMU Munich

09/2016 – 12/2016

Research Semester, University of California, Berkeley

2012 - 2013

Master Sustainability Science & Policy (M.Sc.), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

2008 - 2012

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Corporate Management & Economics (Major) and Communication & Cultural Management (Minor), Zeppelin Universität, Friedrichshafen

2007 - 2017

Professional experience, among others at Kulturamt Stuttgart, betterplace.org, The Owners Forum GmbH, Deloitte, Katerva, Spread the Word (founder)

Coach and moderator, among others at Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, Munich Leadership Institut, Atom Leap GmbH

Honours, Scholarships, Academic Prizes

2012 - 2013
Rotary Scholarship

„Act for Impact“ Award of the Vodafone Stiftung for the Foundation of the Social enterprise Spread the Word and the project „Jailers“ in cooperation with the correctional facility Heilbronn

2008 - 2013
Scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation


Articles in Refereed Journals

Bechthold, Laura; Rosendahl Huber, Laura (2020). Peer Effects in Entrepreneurship Education Field Experimental Evidence on the Role of Gender and Team Emotional Intelligence, Academy of Management Proceedings, 2020 (1), 2020 (1)90. DOI

  • This study builds on the assumption that the common experiential design of entrepreneurship education stimulates entrepreneurial learning via social interaction with peers. We present data from a field experiment in higher entrepreneurship education with 498 valid observations, including 314 female and 184 male students across 174 randomly assigned teams. We investigate peer effects in two ways. First and to the best of our knowledge, we present the first attempt to explore gendered peer effects at the pre-nascent stage of the entrepreneurial process. We theorize that having same-gender entrepreneurial peers in the team positively influences the development of entrepreneurial intentions, attitudes, as well as entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Second, we explore the role of team emotional intelligence in the context of entrepreneurship education. Our analysis provides some indications for positive same-gender peer effects, especially when it comes to the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy among female students. Further, we find support that team emotional intelligence is not only an antecedent of entrepreneurial propensity, but also being assigned to a team with emotionally intelligent peers positively influences entrepreneurial learning and may even mitigate same-gender effects."

Bechthold, Laura; Rosendahl Huber, Laura (2018). Yes, I Can! - A Field Experiment on Female Role Model Effects in Entrepreneurship. Working Document, Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018 (1). DOI

  • This study draws on social learning theory and research concerning role model effects to understand how exposure to female entrepreneurial role models influences the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy, attitudes and intentions among female students. We present results from a field experiment including data from 547 students and 98 entrepreneurs. The combination of a mandatory entrepreneurship course, random assignment of students to teams and entrepreneurs, as well as a pre-test/post-test design, allows us to draw robust causal inferences about the impact of female entrepreneurial role models. We find that exposure to female entrepreneurs particularly boosts the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and attitudes towards entrepreneurship of female students. We explore five mechanisms to explain role model effects as an emergent outcome of a reciprocal relationship between student and entrepreneur. We find that if entrepreneurs signal high levels of supportiveness and interest in the student’s project outcomes, the importance of working with an entrepreneur of the same-gender decreases. In sum, this study provides evidence that role model effects do not only occur by chance, but can be purposefully triggered in an educational setting. Hence, exploiting female role model effects may serve as an effective mechanism to foster female entrepreneurship.

Contributions to Collected Editions

Bechthold, Laura; Chugunova, Marina; Friess, Svenja; Hoisl, Karin; Rose, Michael (2021). Women in Creative Labor: Inventors, Entrepreneurs and Academics, in: Ulla Weber (ed.), Fundamental Questions. Gender Dimensions in Max Planck Research Projects (Schriften zur Gleichstellung, 51), 135-154. Baden-Baden: Nomos. DOI

    Further Publications, Press Articles, Interviews

    Harhoff, Dietmar; Hilty, Reto M.; Bechthold, Laura; Jablonka, Claudius; Nothelfer, Stefan; Suyer, Alexander (2016). Urheberrecht und Innovation in digitalen Märkten - Studie im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. München: Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb.

    Presentations and Lectures

    Yes, I Can! A Field Experiment on Female Role Model Effects in Entrepreneurship
    Academy of Management 78th Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Hotel
    Location: Chicago, US

    Yes, I Can! A Field Experiment on Female Role Model Effects in Entrepreneurship
    TIME Colloquium, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
    Location: Munich


    Trend Seminar "Fighting Hunger in the Digital Era" in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme

    Social Entrepreneurship in collaboration with The Keiskamma Trust (including a field trip to South Africa)

    2013 - 2017
    Various courses, e.g. Green Tech Innovation, Peace & Technology, Center Venture Eleza.org (from idea to prototype in one week), Innovating Art Through Technology, 3D Printing, Professional Communication, Academic Writing, Introduction to Sustainable Development

    2013 - 2015
    Entrepreneurship Laboratory (CDTM)