Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation

Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Gry A. Alsos, Ulla Hytti and Elisabet Ljunggren

Innovation is seen as one of the main engines of economic growth creating prosperous nations and enabling technological development within industries and sectors This Handbook contributes to the field of innovation by providing a wide range of studies from different analytical and methodological perspectives and from various regional and industry contexts in order to pave the way forward. The multidisciplinary contributors discuss topics such as gender and innovation in new and small businesses, and growth businesses; addressing innovation in different organizational contexts ranging from public sector health care to mining and forestry; researching gender in innovation policy.

Chapter 3: Women’s innovation in Germany – empirical facts and conceptual explanations

Teita Bijedić, Siegrun Brink, Kerstin Ettl, Silke Kriwoluzky and Friederike Welter

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


The existing data regarding gender and innovation show that women are less likely to carry out technologically based product and process innovations than men. This chapter presents some empirical evidence for Germany and proposes several conceptual explanations for these findings. With this, the chapter contributes to explaining gender-dependent differences regarding innovative behaviour based on the different contextual factors that foster and perpetuate, for example, traditional role expectations. These role expectations – among other aspects of the institutional framework (in particular with regard to tax and family policies) – have an impact on the development of various individual preferences regarding educational and professional choices and vice versa. Based on the authors’ exploratory evidence, the chapter concludes that women are not less innovative as such but that a combination of institutional constraints and traditional role models contributes to them self-selecting into female-typed professions and working structures, such as part-time work.

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