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Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

The Introduction presents hope and organizing as radical ideas in the times of the interregnum. The book is outlined and its main thrust is narrated.

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Organizing Hope

Narratives for a Better Future

Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

Crumbling social institutions, disintegrating structures, and a profound sense of uncertainty are the signs of our time. In this book, this contemporary crisis is explored and illuminated, providing narratives that suggest how the notion of hope can be leveraged to create powerful methods of organizing for the future. Chapters first consider theoretical and philosophical perspectives on hopeful organizing, followed by both empirical discussions about achieving change and more imaginative narratives of alternative and utopian futures, including an exploration of the differing roles of work, creativity, idealism, inclusivity and activism.
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Anke Strauß and Christina Ciupke

Hope is a paradoxical place. It is where we store what we long for and what we are fearful of at the same time. It is where we acknowledge the fragility of our lives. Hope lies in uncertainty.

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Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

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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.

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Gry Agnete Alsos, Ulla Hytti and Elisabet Ljunggren

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Malin Lindberg and Knut-Erland Berglund

There is a perceived need for more conceptual studies to better understand gendered aspects of innovation, which this chapter addresses by investigating to what extent social innovation studies could enrich gendered innovation studies and vice versa, owing to their similarities and differences in scope and depth, in a way that helps the understanding and promoting of gender-inclusive innovation policy, research and practice. The conceptual study exposes four mutually reinforcing potentials, including the establishment of new institutions alongside transforming the existing ones, making an explicit distinction between inclusiveness in the process of developing innovation and in the results of innovation processes, acknowledging and including a wider spectrum of actors, industries, sectors and innovations as relevant to innovation policy, research and practice, and making a specification of distinct social ends of gender-inclusive innovation. This motivates the establishment of ‘gendered social innovation’ as a new research stream.

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Selma Martins, Emília Fernandes and Regina Leite

Nowadays, innovation is being associated with the service sector. Such a trend leads the authors of this chapter to question how gendered discourses are used to define innovation by a group of entrepreneurs in nursing care. These two practices are constituted by different gender meanings: nursing is considered to have a feminine nature and to be almost exclusively a female-dominated occupation; entrepreneurship is considered a masculine practice and is traditionally associated with men. Based on the content analysis of interviews with nurse-entrepreneurs, the chapter demonstrates how innovation can be inscribed in feminine meanings such as ‘caring’ and ‘nurturing’, and related to new ways of ‘service delivery’. However, these new conceptions of innovation are presented as gender-neutral. The chapter reflects upon how such an understanding of innovation can contribute to challenging or reproducing gender inequality.

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Trine Kvidal-Røvik and Birgitte Ljunggren

This chapter deals with gendered understandings of innovation, and distribution of power and influence in the innovation arena. Based in a perspective in line with governmentality and discourse theory, the chapter analyses the innovation concept as articulated by the Norwegian Programme for Regional R & D and Innovation (VRI), and discusses gendered consequences of these understandings. Findings point to how articulations of innovation in VRI policy are framed by a neo-liberal governmentality, reproducing essentialist gender assumptions. Women are legitimized as participants in innovation mainly by means of being different from men. The understandings of innovation in VRI represent a type of theoretical path-dependency that brings policy into a ‘lock-in’, shutting off other premises for inclusion as well as alternative perspectives on why it might be good to innovate.