Where are All the Female Innovators? Nurses as Innovators in a Public Sector Innovation

Johanna Nählinder


The field of innovation does not see the innovator and is therefore gender-blind. Still, there is an implicit understanding of who is innovative, and this understanding includes gender and profession of the innovator. The female nurse is not seen as innovative and few innovation policies target her. The lack of innovativeness is due to many factors and two of these are tested empirically in this article: that women work in professions which are not associated with innovation and that women lack confidence to carry out innovative work. The empirical investigation presents evidence in line with both hypothesis and also notes that men and women ends their innovative efforts for different reasons. Therefore, innovation policy targeting these groups mobilises otherwise dormant potential innovators.


gender; innovator; innovation policy; occupation; care-sector.

Full Text:

PDF [en]


AHL, H. (2002). The making of the female entrepreneur. A discourse analysis of research texts on women´s entrepreneurship. JIBS dissertation series No 015. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping.

ALMI (2006). Projektplan för PIMM. Produktförnyelse i medicinsk miljö. ALMI, Linköping.

ALMI (2009). Slutrapport projektets kvinnors innovationer. ALMI, Linköping.

BEAUDOIN, P, Lachance, M.J., Robitaille, J. (2003). Fashion innovativeness, fashion diffusion and brand sensitivity among adolescents. Journal of fashion marketing and management, 7(1), 23-30.

BELCOURT, M. (2009). Nothing to Lose: Entrepreneurial Behaviour of Female Entrepreneurs. Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration, 4(2), 199-210.

BEYER, K. (2009) Grace Hopper and the invention of the information age. MIT, Cambridge, Mass.

BIRLEY, S. (1989). Female entrepreneurs. Are they really any different? Journal of small business management, 27(1), 32-37.

BROCKHAUS, R. Horwitz, P. (2002). The psychology of the entrepreneur. In: Kreuger, N. (ed) (2002). Entrepreneurship. Critical perspectives on business and management. Routledge, London.

COUNTY COUNCIL OF ÖSTERGÖTLAND. Fakta om landstinget. County council of Östergötland, County Council web site: http://www.lio.se/Fakta-om-landstinget/ [Accessed March 31]

COUNTY COUNCIL OF ÖSTERGÖTLAND, Landstingets medarbetare. County council of Östergötland, County Council web site: http://www.lio.se /Fakta-om-landstinget/Landstingsfakta/Landstingets-medarbetare/ Accessed April 20th

CURRY, R. (2009). "Book reviews." Journal of women´s history. 31(3), 188-203.

ERIKSON, T. (2001). The Promise of Entrepreneurship As a Field of Research: A Few Comments and Some Suggested Extensions. Academy of Management Review, 26(1), 12-13.

FAGERBERG, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (2005). Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

GAMMEL, I. (2002) Baroness Elsa. Gender, dada and everyday modernity. MIT Press, Cambridge.

GREENE, P. Hart, M. Gatewood, E. Brush, C. Carter, N. (2004). Women entrepreneurs: moving front and center: an overview of research and theory. USASBE Whote paper. USABE, United States association for small business and entrepreneurship web site: http://www.usasbe.org/ knowledge/whitepapers/greene2003.pdf Accessed April 20

GREENE, P. Brush, C. Hart, M. Saparito, P. (2001). Patterns of venture capital funding: is gender a factor? Venture Capital, 3(1), 63-83.

HALL, B. (2005). Innovation and diffusion. In: Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

HIRDMAN, Y. (1990). Genussystemet. In: Demokrati och makt i Sverige. Maktutredningens huvudrapport. Allmänna förlaget, Stockholm.

KIBWANA, O., Haile, M., Veldhuizen, L. (2001). Clapping with two hands: Bringing together local and outside knowledge for innovation in land husbandry in Tanzania and Ethiopia - a comparative case study. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 7(3), 133-142.

KIRKWOOD, J. (2009). Is a lack of self-confidence hindering women entrepreneurs? International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 1(2), 118-133.

KLOFSTEN, M., Davidsson, P. (2003). The Business Platform: Developing an Instrument to Gauge and to Assist the Development of Young Firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 41(1), 1-26.

MACKINNON, D. (1962).The nature and nurture of creative talent. American Psychologist, 17(7), 484-495.

MILLWARD, L., Freeman, H. (2002). Role Expectations as Constraints to Innovation: The Case of Female Managers. Creativity Research Journal, 14(1), 93-109.

MOORE, D. (1990). An Examination of Present Research on the Female Entrepreneur- Suggested Research Strategies for the 1990's. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(4/5), 275-281.

MOWERY, D., Sampat, B. (2005). Universities in National Innovation Systems. In: Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

MUZINICH, N., Pecoticha, A., Putrevu, S. (2003). A model of the antecedents and consequents of female fashion innovativeness. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 10(5), 297-310.

NYBERG, A-C. (2009). Making Ideas Matter. Gender, Technology and Women´s Invention. Luleå University, Luleå.

OECD (2005). Oslo manual. Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data. Third Edition. OECD & EUROSTAT, Luxemburg.

PAECHTER, C. (2003). Power/knowledge, gender and curriculum change, Journal of Educational Change, 4(2), 129-148.

PIANTA, M. (2005). Innovation and Employment. In: Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

POWELL, W., Grodal, S. (2005). Networks of Innovators. In Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D. & Nelson, R. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

REIJ, C., Waters-Bayer, A. (2001) Farmer innovation in Africa. A source of inspiration for agricultural development. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London.

REIS, S. (2002). Toward a Theory of Creativity in Diverse Creative Women. Creativity Research Journal. 14(3/4), 305-316.

SANDEMOSE, A. (1936). A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks. Alfred Knopf, New York

SHANE, S., Venkataraman, S. (2001). Entrepreneurship As a Field of Research: A Response to Zahra and Dess, Singh, and Erikson. Academy of Management Review. 26(1), 13-16.

SIEGEL, S. Castellan, N. J. (1988). Nonparametric statistics for the behavioural sciences. McGraw-Hill, New York.

SINGH, R. (2001). A Comment on Developing the Field of Entrepreneurship Through the Study of Opportunity Recognition and Exploitation. Academy of Management Review. 26(1), 10-12.

STATISTICS SWEDEN, SSYK, Standard för svensk yrkesklassificering2008, from Statistics Sweden web site http://www.ssd.scb.se/databaser/makro/Visavar.asp Accessed March 31

SUNDIN, E. Holmquist, C. (1989) Kvinnor som företagare: osynlighet, mångfald, anpassning. Liber, Malmö.

THE ECONOMIST (2010). "Wominnovation. Some innovations help women more than others".http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15656289 Accessed April 19, 2010

TUNZELMANN, N., Acha, V. (2005). Innovation in low-tech industries. In: Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

URAY, N., Dedeoglu, A. (1998). Identifying Fashion Clothing Innovators by Self-Report Method. Journal of Euromarketing, 6(3), 27-46.

WARWICK, D., Reimersa, F., McGinna, N. (1992). The implementation of educational innovations: Lessons from Pakistan. International Journal of Educational Development, 12(4), 297-307.

ZAHRA, S., Dess, G. (2001). Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research: Encouraging Dialogue and Debate. Academy of Management Review, 26(1) 8-10.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242010000100002

Copyright (c)

2017 © Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Facultad de Economía y Negocios. 
Erasmo Escala 1835 - Santiago, Chile.
Economic Analysis Review | Observatorio Económico | Gestión y Tendencias 

Journal Supported by Chimera Innova Group