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 10: Governing gendered understandings of innovation: a discourse analysis of a national innovation policy programme

Trine Kvidal-Røvik and Birgitte Ljunggren

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

Abstract

This chapter deals with gendered understandings of innovation, and distribution of power and influence in the innovation arena. Based in a perspective in line with governmentality and discourse theory, the chapter analyses the innovation concept as articulated by the Norwegian Programme for Regional R & D and Innovation (VRI), and discusses gendered consequences of these understandings. Findings point to how articulations of innovation in VRI policy are framed by a neo-liberal governmentality, reproducing essentialist gender assumptions. Women are legitimized as participants in innovation mainly by means of being different from men. The understandings of innovation in VRI represent a type of theoretical path-dependency that brings policy into a ‘lock-in’, shutting off other premises for inclusion as well as alternative perspectives on why it might be good to innovate.

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