Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation
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Research Handbook on Gender and Innovation

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.
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Chapter 7: Eyes wide shut: differential influences of gender on innovation in organizations

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.

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