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The gender dimension in knowledge and technology transfer – the German case

Kathinka Best (Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Fraunhofer IAO, Berlin, Germany)
Anna Sinell (Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Fraunhofer IAO, Berlin, Germany)
Marie Lena Heidingsfelder (Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Fraunhofer IAO, Berlin, Germany)
Martina Schraudner (Center for Responsible Research and Innovation, Fraunhofer IAO, Berlin, Germany)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 11 January 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) and particularly academic entrepreneurship (Klofsten and Jones-Evans, 2000) are indispensable for economic growth and wealth creation. In many European countries including Germany, substantially fewer women than men participate in KTT. Recently, decision makers from scientific, political, and commercial organisations have increased their attention to the gender dimension (e.g. Moser, 2007; Schiebinger, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate in what ways and to what degree gender is currently integrated in German KTT.

Design/methodology/approach

By following an abductive approach (Suddaby, 2006) and building upon existing models (Klofsten and Jones-Evans, 2000; Carlsson et al., 2002; Lundvall, 2010), the authors developed an analytical framework for evaluating the position of the gender dimension in KTT, conducted a comprehensive literature review, and 22 key informant interviews.

Findings

The findings indicate that the gender dimension is barely integrated in German KTT, which particularly manifests itself through the fact that there are fewer than 10 per cent women among academic entrepreneurs. Current organisational practices and attitudes of decision makers continue to reinforce traditional gender roles and “typically male” approaches and behaviours (Connell, 2005; Redien-Collot, 2009).

Originality/value

The authors were the first to synthesise a variety of sources into one unified framework and to rigorously analyse the gender dimension in German KTT – both quantitatively and qualitatively and on different levels. This framework can help decisions makers, both in- and outside of Germany, re-envision KTT practices, and create new opportunities for its diverse participants.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for making this research project possible.

Citation

Best, K., Sinell, A., Heidingsfelder, M.L. and Schraudner, M. (2016), "The gender dimension in knowledge and technology transfer – the German case", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 2-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-07-2015-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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