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Marja Soila-Wadman and Lisbeth Svengren Holm

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Paola Pisano, Marco Pironti and Alison Rieple

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Judith Gloppen, Berit Lindquister and Hans-Peter Daae

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Marzia Mortati and Beatrice Villari

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Julian Jenkins and Tim Fife

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Ledia Andrawes, Anitha Moorthy and Adela McMurray

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Erez Nusem, Cara Wrigley and Judy Matthews

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Lene Foss and Colette Henry

This chapter critically explores how gender is conceptualized in extant innovation research scholarship. The authors analyse a selection of published research articles, categorizing them according to the various themes adopted: traditional innovation and definitional issues; management styles, performance and teams; organisational structures and networks; and gendered stereotypes, feminist resistance, and gendered processes of innovation. The chapter also considers how researchers define innovation, and how they illustrate the relationship between gender and innovation. Findings indicate that published scholarship in this field lacks a robust discussion of the relationship between gender and innovation, with few articles positioning themselves within specific gender perspectives. The field has become restricted to the extent that only male innovation norms are studied and highlighted. The authors conclude that innovation research is lagging behind in terms of its perspectives on how gender is ‘done’, compared to other fields such as entrepreneurship where feminist epistemology is more developed. Avenues worthy of future research are identified.

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Shruti R. Sardeshmukh and Ronda M. Smith

Innovation is a crucial capability in today’s marketplace, and it is clear that employees are the source of organizational innovation. Effective pursuit of innovation requires that organizations leverage the benefits of their workforce diversity by embracing novel ideas coming from all their employees. Women form nearly half of the workforce, and yet female employees’ innovative ideas are often invisible. Bringing together literature from diversity and innovation, the chapter conceptually identifies structural and social barriers that can hinder female employees’ innovative activity in the two phases of the innovation process – idea generation and idea implementation. Based on diversity management literature, the chapter recommends gender-conscious practices that can be implemented in organizations. By incorporating gender and diversity management concepts in the innovation literature, the chapter contributes to the broader innovation research agenda and to the gender literature.