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Maria Bengtsson, Jessica Eriksson and Joakim Wincent

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Aija Voitkane, Jeaneth Johansson, Malin Malmström and Joakim Wincent

Aija Voitkane, Jeaneth Johansson, Malin Malmström and Joakim Wincent explore the myth of women’s underperformance as reflected in Swedish governmental financiers’ social interactions when they analyse ventures for investment. Given Sweden’s reputation of being far ahead of other countries in terms of gender-equality issues, one may wonder why women in Sweden are still severely under-represented in entrepreneurship. The authors employ Butler’s theory of identity in conceptualizing financiers’ process of performing gender and entrepreneurial identity in discussions to offer a model that elaborates on the myth of women entrepreneurs’ underperformance. Observing governmental financiers’ meetings, they consider culture and the discourse that takes place in financiers’ performance of entrepreneurial identities and, thus, the construction of the underperformance myth. The authors adopt a symbolic-interpretative lens to explain how men and women financiers interpret and attribute meanings to gender relationships in their assessment work. They also show that such interpretations can influence their interactions both within their organization and with the ventures that apply for financing.

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Nerine Mary George, Sergey Anokhin, Vinit Parida and Joakim Wincent

Contrary to conventional wisdom, this study demonstrates that technological laggards and not industry front-runners are most likely to experience high rates of technological advancement in strategic alliances. We further suggest that imitation and not innovation is the primary source of such advancement, based on the fact that technological progress by laggards is most visible in industries that lack strong appropriability regimes. Finally, we present empirical evidence suggesting that lagging established corporations prefer to imitate from startups and not from fellow incumbents. These results are derived from a careful analysis of a longitudinal sample of over 150 incumbents with varying degrees of technological prowess that engage in partnerships with both startups and fellow incumbents across a wide representation of industries. Our chapter contributes to technological innovation, strategic alliance, entrepreneurship and imitation literatures, and provides non-trivial implications for startups.