Title: R&D team composition and product innovation: gender diversity makes a difference

Authors: Ángela González-Moreno; Cristina Díaz-García; Francisco José Sáez-Martínez

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain ' Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain ' Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain

Abstract: Literature presents conflicting views on the relationship between gender diversity and performance and we know very little about the impact of R&D team gender diversity on innovation. This study aims to fill this gap by drawing on social cognitive theory. In this paper, we investigate how innovation in R&D teams is fostered by a combination of the specific context of R&D tasks and the participation of mixed gender teams. Drawing on data from 3540 manufacturing firms, our results show that gender diversity has a non-linear impact on product innovation, supporting the argument that diversity is a 'double-edged sword'. This finding indicates that gender diversity fosters innovation only to a certain level. That is, moderate levels of gender diversity are more likely to be related to innovation, whereas lower or higher levels of gender diversity lead to less optimal results.

Keywords: gender diversity; researchers; R&D; product innovation; context.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2018.092843

European Journal of International Management, 2018 Vol.12 No.4, pp.423 - 446

Available online: 30 Apr 2018 *

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