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Rethinking innovation: context and gender


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  • Megan K Blake
  • Susan Hanson
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    Geographers have a keen interest in innovation because of its connection to regional economic advantage. We argue that, to date, understandings of innovation are predominantly technological and product driven and defined in universal terms such that the nature of innovation is stripped of its contextual influence and is overly masculinist. Through combined analysis of interview material from two complementary studies on the gendering of entrepreneurship based in the United States, this paper challenges current conceptualisations of innovation within geography. We show how the context, both social and geographical, of an innovation is elementary to its identification as innovative. Moreover, we reveal some of the many instances of innovation that occur in economic sectors and by agents that are typically ignored or undervalued by current research and by policy. Our analysis challenges researchers and policymakers to expand their concepts of regional and urban development beyond those processes associated with technologically defined and growth-oriented originality, such that notions of local development may enhance the social well-being of places and be more gender inclusive.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 681-701

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    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:37:y:2005:i:4:p:681-701

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    Cited by:
    1. Sujata Byravan, 2009. "Gender and Innovation in South Asia," Working Papers id:1890, eSocialSciences.
    2. Qingfang Wang, 2009. "Gender, ethnicity, and self-employment: a multilevel analysis across US metropolitan areas," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(8), pages 1979-1996, August.
    3. Qingfang Wang, 2013. "Industrial Concentration of Ethnic Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses in the United States," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 13-34, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Christina Scholten & Kicki Stridh & Mia Swärdh & Agneta Hansson, 2011. "Gender perspective on regional development and innovation in the food industry in Skåne," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1013, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Macneill Stewart & Hugues Jeannerat, 2013. "Mobility of Knowledge. Territorial Knowledge Dynamics in luxury car industry. Beyond standard and production markets," GRET Publications and Working Papers, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel 01-13, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel.
    6. Beerepoot, Milou & Beerepoot, Niels, 2007. "Government regulation as an impetus for innovation: Evidence from energy performance regulation in the Dutch residential building sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4812-4825, October.


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