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Gender of the manager and SMEs innovativeness


  • Alfonso Expósito

    (University of Seville, Spain)

  • Amparo Sanchis-Llopis

    (University of Valencia and ERICES, Spain)

  • Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis

    (University of Valencia and ERICES, Spain)


This paper analyses the role of the manager’s gender on the propensity to introduce innovations using a sample of Spanish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We examine whether there are significant differences between female- and male-led businesses in terms of their propensity to innovate, and whether these differences may be explained by factors related to the attributes of the manager concerning risk tolerance, self-confidence, education level and cooperative behaviour. In particular, this study tests if the linkages between these managerial attributes and the propensity to innovate are moderated by the gender of the manager. Using a multivariate probit model (triprobit), we further investigate the role of gender on the managerial decision to simultaneously introduce product, process and organisational innovations. Our main results indicate that there are not significant gender differences in the propensity to introduce innovations between male- and female-run businesses when considering innovation at an aggregated level, that is, innovating in any of the three types of innovations considered. However, we obtain a higher propensity of male managers to introduce process innovations, as compared to their female counterparts. No significant differences by gender are found for product and organisational innovations. Additionally, results of the multivariate probit model indicate that the three innovation decisions are interdependent and should be jointly analysed. This study contributes to the scant literature regarding gender impact on firm’s innovativeness with novel empirical evidence for SMEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfonso Expósito & Amparo Sanchis-Llopis & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2020. "Gender of the manager and SMEs innovativeness," Working Papers 2002, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  • Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:2002

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    More about this item


    manager’s gender; SMEs; product innovation; process innovation; organizational innovations; triprobit model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics

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