The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 520–539 | Cite as

Female owners versus female managers: Who is better at introducing innovations?

  • Dirk Dohse
  • Rajeev K. GoelEmail author
  • Michael A. Nelson


This paper uses firm-level survey for more than 100 countries to examine whether firms’ female managers or female owners were better at bringing innovations to the market than males. In contrast to most of the literature that focuses on the performance of female managers/owners, this paper addresses conduct with regard to innovation. Results show that female owners, rather than female managers, were more likely to introduce innovations. Further, R&D performing firms introduced innovations, as did larger and older firms. The presence of an informal sector and finance availability constraints actually spurred innovation introductions, with economic prosperity leading to complacency in innovation introductions.


Innovation Female owners Female managers Patent protection R&D Firm size Firm age Sole proprietorship 

JEL classification

O32 O33 O57 J16 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kiel Institute for the World EconomyKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  3. 3.University of AkronAkronUSA

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