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Beyond Technological Diversification: The Impact of Employee Diversity on Innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Christian R. Østergaard
  • Bram Timmermans
  • Kari Kristinsson

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of employee diversity in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and education on the firm’s likelihood of introducing an innovation. The analysis draws on data from a recent innovation survey. This data is merged with a linked employer-employee dataset that allow us to identify the employee composition of each firm. We test the hypothesis that employee diversity is associated with better innovative performance. The econometric analysis reveals positive, negative and non-significant effects of the different employee characteristics on the likelihood of introducing an innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian R. Østergaard & Bram Timmermans & Kari Kristinsson, 2009. "Beyond Technological Diversification: The Impact of Employee Diversity on Innovation," DRUID Working Papers 09-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:09-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
    2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    3. Jovanovic, Boyan & MacDonald, Glenn M, 1994. "The Life Cycle of a Competitive Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 322-347, April.
    4. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
    5. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-181.
    6. Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1993. "In search of useful theory of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 108-108, April.
    7. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
    8. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
    9. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-583, June.
    10. Marco Valente, 1998. "Laboratory for Simulation Development," DRUID Working Papers 98-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    11. Simona Cantono & Gerald Silverberg, 2008. "A percolation model of eco-innovation diffusion: the relationship between diffusion, learning economies and subsidies," MERIT Working Papers 025, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierpaolo Parrotta & Dario Pozzoli & Mariola Pytlikova, 2014. "The nexus between labor diversity and firm’s innovation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 303-364, April.
    2. Robin Pesch & Ricarda B. Bouncken & Sascha Kraus, 2015. "Effects of Communication Style and Age Diversity in Innovation Teams," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(06), pages 1-20, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diversity; Innovation; Education; Gender; Cultural Backgrund;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching

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