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Journal of technology management & innovation

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2724


NAHLINDER, Johanna. Where are All the Female Innovators?: Nurses as Innovators in a Public Sector Innovation Project. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation [online]. 2010, vol.5, n.1, pp.13-29. ISSN 0718-2724.

The individual innovator is seldom seen in innovation research, but there is still an implicit understanding that men are more innovative than women, and that men-dominated occupations are more innovative than women-dominated ones. The female nurse is one among those who are not seen as innovative and few innovation policies target her. In this paper, two of the many factors that determine the alleged lack of innovativeness of women are tested empirically: that women work in occupations which are not associated with innovation; and that women lack the self-confidence to carry out innovative work. Our results show that there are gender differences in favour of women regarding the creativity and innovativeness of employees within the same care sector occupation. Men and women end their innovative efforts for different reasons and the innovativeness of women is sometimes hampered by low self-confidence and low prioritization of work issues over family or household issues. Overall, innovation policies targeting these groups are needed to mobilize otherwise dormant potential innovators.

Palabras clave : gender; innovator; innovation policy; occupation; care-sector.

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