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Hidden in the limelight: A feminist engagement with innovation studies

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2021
Issue number6
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)993-1017
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date31/05/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Innovation is filled with aspirations for solutions to problems, and for laying the groundwork for new technological and social breakthroughs. When a concept is so positively charged, the hopes expressed may create blindness to potential shortcomings and deadlocks. To disclose innovation blind spots, we approach innovation from a feminist viewpoint. We see innovation as a context that changes historically, and as revolution, offering alternative imaginaries of the relationship between race, gender and innovation. Our theoretical framework combines bell hooks (capitalist patriarchy and intersectionality), Mazzucato (the entrepreneurial state and the changing context of innovation) and Fraser (redistributive justice) and contributes with an understanding of innovation from the margin by unveiling its political dimensions. Hidden Figures, the 2016 biographical drama that follows three Black women working at NASA during the space race, provides the empirical setting of the paper. Our analysis contributes to emerging intersectionality research in management and organisation studies (MOS) by revealing the subject positions and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion in innovation discourses, and by proposing a radical – and more inclusive – rethinking of innovation. With this article, we aim to push the margins to the centre and invite others to discover the terrain of the margin(alised). We suggest that our feminist framework is appropriate to study other organisational phenomena, over time and across contexts, to bring forward the plurality of women’s experiences at work and in organisations.