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Rethinking innovation: context and gender


  • Megan K Blake
  • Susan Hanson


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Megan K Blake & Susan Hanson, 2005. "Rethinking innovation: context and gender," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(4), pages 681-701, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:37:y:2005:i:4:p:681-701

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsoctx:v:7:y:2017:i:3:p:20-:d:110367 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mutenje, Munyaradzi & Kankwamba, Henry & Mangisonib, Julius & Kassie, Menale, 2016. "Agricultural innovations and food security in Malawi: Gender dynamics, institutions and market implications," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 240-248.
    3. Christina Scholten & Kicki Stridh & Mia Swärdh & Agneta Hansson, 2011. "Gender perspective on regional development and innovation in the food industry in Skane," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1013, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Qingfang Wang, 2009. "Gender, ethnicity, and self-employment: a multilevel analysis across US metropolitan areas," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 41(8), pages 1979-1996, August.
    5. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:5:p:498-518 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:30:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s41287-017-0118-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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 01-13, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel.
    8. Qingfang Wang, 2010. "Immigration and Ethnic Entrepreneurship: A Comparative Study in the United States," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 430-458.
    9. Hedfeldt Mona & Hedlund Gun, 2011. "A Clash between the Business and Political Climates in Sweden - Gender in the European Structural Fund Partnerships," European Spatial Research and Policy, De Gruyter Open, vol. 18(1), pages 53-69, May.
    10. 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, vol. 35(10), pages 4812-4825, October.
    11. Thilde Langevang & Katherine V. Gough & Paul W. K. Yankson & George Owusu & Robert Osei, 2015. "Bounded Entrepreneurial Vitality: The Mixed Embeddedness of Female Entrepreneurship," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 449-473, October.
    12. Sujata Byravan, 2009. "Gender and Innovation in South Asia," Working Papers id:1890, eSocialSciences.
    13. Dohse, Dirk & Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A., 2017. "Female owners versus female managers: Who is better at introducing innovations?," Kiel Working Papers 2091, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Susan Hanson, 2009. "Changing Places Through Women's Entrepreneurship," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 245-267, July.
    15. Qingfang Wang, 2013. "Industrial Concentration of Ethnic Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses in the United States," Working Papers 13-34, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:4:p:123-138 is not listed on IDEAS

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