Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen
Chapter 4: Towards a framework for studying gendering processes of innovation
It is maintained that innovation provides businesses with competitive advantages, and that innovation is crucial for experience based tourism which is highly global, competitive and changing (Hall & Williams, 2008). Innovations in the experience based sectors are often driven by customers who seek new experiences (Sundbo, 2009). Innovations therefore need to be understood and facilitated by businesses, policy-makers and scholars. While it is a problem if innovations are not taking place, it is also a problem if innovations in the experience sectors are not understood, recognized and valued, since lack of understanding will hamper legitimacy, financing, self-identity and the facilitation of innovations. Knowledge of innovation in these sectors is underdeveloped, and further context sensitive studies are needed. Our point of departure is that humans are crucial in innovation, just as they are key in the production and consumption of experiences. Further, as all humans have gender, the ëgender issueí has to be included when the aim is to gain an understanding of innovation. However, our knowledge of how gender actually impacts the innovation processes is limited as it has been neglected in innovation research and policy (Andersson et al., 2012; Lindberg, 2010; Ljunggren & Alsos, 2010). General observations show that women constitute a substantial part of the experience based tourism sectors as stakeholders in the form of customers, employees, business owners, managers and co-operators; although variations exist between subsectors.
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