Gender, Innovation and Firm Performance

In innovation research, there is a wide-spread notion that women in general and women entrepreneurs in particular are less innovative than their male counterparts. This is often associated with a weaker performance of women-led firms. Our study shows that this notion is based on a limited definition and examination of innovation. In empirical research as well as in innovation funding programs, innovation is considered to be technologically based and to take place in certain, innovative sectors. Due to the perceptions of women’s role in society, however, women are less prone to operate in these sectors and to engage in this specific type of innovation. Moreover, the institutional framework sets incentives for (salaried as well as self-employed women to work part-time. But a firm that is being operated on a part-time basis might miss the resources necessary to bear the risks of innovative activities.

Brink, S.; Kriwoluzky, S.; Bijedic, T.; Ettl, K.; Welter, F. (2014): Gender, Innovation und Unternehmensentwicklung, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): IfM-Materialien Nr. 228, Bonn.

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