- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Purpose – This paper examines the impact of gender diversity on organisational capacity for innovation, and explores the factors that affect the relationship between gender diversity and innovation. Design/methodology/approach – The study applies the Innovation Phase Assessment Instrument (IPAI – a 168-item survey instrument designed to assess an organization’s alignment to six dimensions of human capital innovation inputs) to members of an Australian manufacturing firm, exploring relationships across both gender and work function in the firm. Findings – Initial results suggest a negative relationship between the proportion of females in functional areas and capacity for innovation. Further analysis suggests that capacity for innovation among female employees was suppressed by an unfavourable organisational climate. Practical implications – With a trend towards greater gender diversity as a means for improving organisational innovation, managers must be aware of the role that organisational climate (culture) plays in assisting innovation. The relationship between gender diversity and innovation is not merely quantitative (what is the proportion of females to males?), but is also qualitative (what psychological and organisational factors are important?). The results of this study present empirical evidence to support the case for greater gender diversity as a means for enhancing innovation capacity in organisations. However, the results emphasise that the relationship between gender and innovation capacity is complex, and influenced by organisational culture, as well as factors of the individuals such as the cognitive processes used in innovation. This means that merely increasing the number of females in a maledominated firm is unlikely to result in improved innovation capacity. Unless the organisational climate of the firm is aligned to what is needed for successful innovation – with attention given to attitudes to innovation, cognitive processes and personal properties of the individuals, the benefits of greater gender diversity are unlikely to be realised. Originality/value – This study integrates research from the psychology of creativity and innovation with consideration of organisational design and innovation management. The study demonstrates that a highly differentiated analysis of psychological antecedents to innovation can be used to cast new light on the origins of gender and other group differences in firms. The findings add important new knowledge to the arguments in favour of greater gender diversity as a means for improving organisational innovation.
Drawing together the findings presented in this study, a consistent picture emerges. In response to the question “Is innovation not only men’s business, but also women’s work?” the empirical evidence supports the vital contributions that both genders bring to the organisation’s innovation capacity. In particular, the evidence presented in this study suggests two key points: (a) There is a differential impact of the organisational climate on male and female employees in a given organisation, and; (b) There exists a differential application of cognitive processes by male and female employees in the same organisation. Thus, there are indeed differences between the contributions of men and women with regard to innovation, and these differences are likely moderated by the organisational climate/culture, and, to some extent, caused by gender differences in cognitive processes. D. H. Cropley and Cropley (2015) suggest some of the underlying factors at play in relation to gender and creativity/innovation.
One of the initial questions posed for this study touched on the implications of gender-based differences in organisational innovation for innovation management. If the culture/climate of an organisation makes a difference to the contribution of females to innovation, then one consequence of this is that simply shifting a male-dominated organisation to a more even gender balance is likely only to achieve the desired improvements to innovation if weaknesses in the organisational culture/climate are addressed. Recent studies (e.g. the 2014 report by the Anita Borg Institute, Innovation by Design: The Case for Investing in Women) rightly present evidence supporting greater gender diversity for improved innovation. However, that study did not explore the possible adverse consequences of culture. The present study highlights that if women are inserted into a previously maledominated environment, and one with only a moderately well aligned culture/climate (or worse, a poorly aligned organisational culture), then their ability to contribute to improved innovation is likely to be hindered, if not blocked. Organisational change aimed at improving innovation capacity therefore must seek greater diversity, but must ensure that moderators like culture support any such changes.