Don’t ask for ideas and innovations, ask for what they do: Understanding, recognizing and enhancing (women’s) innovation activities in the public sector

Anna Isaksson*, Camilla Andersson, Emma Börjesson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This article demonstrates how the innovation capacity in the public sector, such as in elderly care, can be recognized and enhanced if the daily experiences of the employees, i.e. what women are doing in their everyday work, are taken into account. Women working in elderly care encounter a number of challenges and have different strategies for solving them in order to provide good care for the elderly. These solutions are often nontechnical and non-digital and, therefore, not regarded as “good ideas” and innovations. Asking for “ideas” and “potential innovations” prevents the staff from identifying these innovative solutions since they regard them as nothing special. However, when the point of departure is taken in everyday experiences, it is possible to challenge the male-dominated discourse on innovation and capture innovations. Consequently, this article suggests that innovation activities and innovation models in for instance the public sector should address and be grounded in experiences rather than “ideas”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalJOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATION
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Innovation, ideas, gender, experiences, elderly care, public sector

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