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

: Best, Kathinka; Sinell, Anna; Heidingsfelder, Marie Lena; Schraudner, Martina


European journal of innovation management : EJIM 19 (2016), Nr.1, S.2-25
ISSN: 1460-1060
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Die Genderdimension im Wissens- und Technologietransfer
Fraunhofer IAO ()

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.