Call for Papers: “Catalyzing Change and Innovation in Women’s Entrepreneurship”


Call for Papers for a Special Issue
Catalyzing Change and Innovation in Women’s Entrepreneurship

Guest Editors:

Candida G. Brush, Babson College
Kimberly Eddleston, Northeastern University
Linda F. Edelman, Bentley University
Tatiana S. Manolova, Bentley University
Maura McAdam, Dublin City University
Cristina Rossi-Lamastra, Politecnico di Milano School of Management

Background and Special Issue Purpose:

Innovation is regarded as an important engine of economic development and a driver of social progress. Yet, because most research focuses on where innovation takes place as opposed to whoparticipates in it, the innovation literature pays little attention to gender issues (Alsos, Hytti, & Ljunggren, 2016). Furthermore, studies on innovation often center on industries such as high-tech that are male-dominated and embody a masculine perspective (Marlow & McAdam, 2013; McAdam, 2013; Foss & Henry, 2016). Consequently, we have limited understanding of how a feminine perspective may contribute to innovation research.

A well-developed literature examines women’s entrepreneurship (Jennings & Brush, 2013), but this work does not put innovation by women entrepreneurs at the core of its inquiry. For instance, there is a paucity of research examining how innovation inspires women to start businesses, how women entrepreneurs respond to new innovations by competitors, and how they spawn and scale innovations in the marketplace (Brush, Edelman, Manolova, & Welter, 2019; Ladge, Eddleston & Sugiyama, 2019).  In sum, gender analyses of innovation, explored through multiple theoretical lenses and using a variety of empirical methods, are missing in the entrepreneurship field. These omissions in the extant literature are surprising given an emerging stream of research that documents the divergent paths men and women take toward the commercialization of technology (Ding & Choi, 2011).  For example, existing literature emphasizes the unique perspectives that women on R&D teams, top management teams, and boards of directors contribute to their firms’ innovation performance (Diaz-Garcia, Gonzalez-Moreno, & Saez-Martinez, 2013; Kim & Starks, 2016; Ruiz-Jiménez, del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes, & Ruiz-Arroyo, 2016; Torchia, Calabro, & Huse, 2011).

This special issue therefore intends to focus attention on the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and gender.  We aim to stimulate scholarly conversations on how women entrepreneurs enact innovation through new products, processes, business models, and organizational practices.

Possible research questions include (but are not limited to) the following ones:

  • What is the role of gender in shaping innovation in entrepreneurial contexts? How does gender influence the creation of innovative ventures and, more generally, how does gender shape the formation and management of innovative organizations?
  • To what extent do theories of innovation apply to ventures founded by women entrepreneurs? What new insights do women entrepreneurs offer to innovation theory?
  • How do female-specific needs in a marketplace push innovation by women entrepreneurs?
  • How do grand societal challenges and crises (e.g., COVID-19) drive innovation by women entrepreneurs? Are women better able then men to capture the innovation opportunities that crises create?
  • How does gender relate to the needs for radical and incremental innovation in entrepreneurial ventures? Are women more likely to use open innovation strategies than men?
  • Which obstacles do women entrepreneurs face in attracting resources for innovation? Do they experience advantages in certain industries or in raising funding from specific sources (e.g., crowdfunding)? Have female venture capital and angel investors had a positive impact in levelling the playing field for women entrepreneurs?
  • What challenges do female innovators face in scaling their ventures? Do female-led ventures have difficulties in attracting talented employees who can successfully engage in innovation processes?

Deadline, Submission, and Review Process

Submissions to this special issue should be prepared in accordance with SEJ’s submission process described here.

Submissions can be made via the SEJ online submission site from October 15, 2020 to November 15, 2020. Please indicate that your submission is for the special issue on Catalyzing Change and Innovation in Women’s Entrepreneurship.

For questions regarding the content of the special issue, please contact the guest editors: 

Candida Brush,
Kimberly Eddleston,
Linda Edelman,
Tatiana S. Manolova,
Maura McAdam,
Cristina Rossi-Lamastra,

For questions about submitting to the special issue, please contact Stephen Mullaly, SEJ Managing Editor, at .


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