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Gender perspectives on Innovation and Growth

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

Guest editors:
Gry Agnete Alsos, Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland, Norway
Email: [email protected]
Ulla Hytti, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland
Email: [email protected]
Elisabet Ljunggren, Nordland Research Institute, Norway
Email: [email protected]
Malin Tillmar, Linköping University, Sweden
Email: [email protected]

Special Issue Scope:

For this special issue, we invite papers that examine gender aspects of innovation and growth. Despite a growing interest in the topic, the role of gender and gendered practices within the context of innovation and innovative firms have been scarcely researched (e.g. Eriksson et al., 2008). Thus, there is a need for more empirical as well as conceptual studies to help us better understand the gendered aspects of innovation and firm growth.

Innovation is perceived to be a tool to create economic growth and wealth. The innovation concept includes both radical and incremental innovations. Recently, there has been an explicit aim to broaden the concept of innovation to cover organisational, design and other non-technical innovations. In this vein, innovation is not understood through an end-product. Rather, innovation is something that happens in organizations, at work-places. However, in most countries innovation policies have stemmed from and are linked to technology and science policies (Lindholm Dahlstrand & Stevenson, 2007), and therefore have contributed to strong technology connotations for the concepts of innovation and the innovative firm or organization.

The understanding of innovation is seldom gendered, although the policies to promote innovation inarguably result in significant gender skewnesses (Pettersson, 2007). Innovation research has excluded women by focusing on the private sector, specifically industries that men dominate both as business owners and as employees. Traditional women’s workplace tasks and activities have not been seen as relevant to innovation research and activities (Blake and Hanson, 2005) and commonly used measures of innovation (e.g. patenting) indirectly accentuate men. Also, the commonly used innovation system focus, in which businesses (and not individuals) and clusters of businesses are considered as the central components (see e.g. Lundvall, 1992) contribute to a downplaying of gender (differences) (Lindberg 2008). Writings that do exist on gender issues in relation to innovation seek to explain why women are not as successful as men when it comes to participating in innovation processes (Fenwick, 2004; Petterson, 2007; Strohmeyer and Tonoyan, 2005). There are only a few studies focusing on the role of governmental innovation programmes and other similar structures from a gender perspective The lack of attention to gender in research legitimizes and perpetuates the status quo, allowing gender bias and sexism to remain unquestioned (Katila and Meriläinen 1999; Martin, 2006).

This special issue on “Gender perspectives on Innovation and Growth” invites both conceptual and theoretically informed empirical papers from different perspectives which address these issues. The following is an indicative but not exhaustive list of potential topics:

• innovation processes and practices and the role of gender and gender equality
• studies of business development and growth support (e.g. consulting) from a gendered perspective
• access to resources needed for innovation and growth from a gendered perspective (access to finance, skilled workforce, partners)
• academic and corporate spin-offs
• participation in innovation processes within and between firms from a gendered perspective
• gendered understandings of knowledge and how knowledge is used in innovation processes
• innovations and innovative behaviors in e.g. personal services and public sector organizations and the role of gender
• the relationship between the lack of women in top management positions, innovation, growth and the gender segregated labor market
• gendered aspects of public policies and support schemes directed towards innovation and growth

Submission details:

The deadline for submitting full papers is September 15th, 2012. Submissions should NOT be made prior to July 1st, 2012. Informal enquiries may be directed to the guest editors

A dedicated stream on this topic will be organized in the “Gender, Work and Organization” (GWO) conference in Keele, UK on 27th- 29th June, 2012. Papers presented at this stream are invited as submissions for this special issue. However, it should be stressed that submissions can also be made without taking part in the GWO conference.

Papers should be submitted via the ScholarOne Manuscript Central on-line submission system, please choose this special issue from the list when submitting. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship ScholarOne Manuscripts site can be found at:

Please ensure your paper adheres to the author guidelines before submitting:

It is anticipated that this special issue will be published in autumn 2013.