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Jeaneth och Kristina Johansson
Jeaneth Johansson and Kristina Johansson will study how crisis support for the green economy is affected by stereotypical norms. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Research will ensure more equal crisis support

Published: 8 March 2021

Public support measures are seen as a savior of the business community in the wake of the corona crisis. But how are decisions made and who receives the support? A research project in entrepreneurship and innovation as well as human work science studies how crisis support for the green economy is affected by stereotypical norms around entrepreneurship and gender.

The pandemic and global warming are crises that are going on in parallel and that affect human health and the economy in different ways. When crisis support is distributed to mitigate the pandemic's consequences for companies, it is important that it takes the form of long-term initiatives that promote the transition to a green economy, according to researchers at Luleå University of Technology.

– In a green economy, people's well-being and social capital increase at the same time as the business's environmental risks are minimized, explains Jeaneth Johansson, project manager and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Discovered stereotypes by chance

The new research project RIKER crisis support: accelerator and logic that challenges a green inclusive economy is based on a previous project – RIKA – which was about public funding.

– In RIKA, we discovered by chance that the decision-making process regarding public financing of companies was characterized by stereotypical interpretations and norms about gender, says Jeaneth Johansson.

Against this background, the current project aims to norm-critically clarify the often unspoken assumptions about gender on which decisions on crisis support are based and to analyze how the distribution of crisis support for transition to a green economy is based on these assumptions. The project is based on the idea that the formal and informal structures of institutions, as well as the interests of various actors, influence the decision-making process.

Guidance for decision makers

The project will result in a guide for decision-makers at different levels for a more inclusive distribution of crisis support in a way that at the same time promotes the transition to a green economy.

Three types of material will be collected and analyzed: 1. The Ministry of Ministry of Enterprise and Innovations' intentions with the distribution of crisis support as expressed in policy documents, instructions and press releases. 2. Interviews with employees at the Ministry of Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the Värmland Region about how they interpret and understand policies and directives. 3. Parts of the actual distribution of crisis support in the form of statistics.

– It is about the possible goal conflicts and contradictions that may exist between, on the one hand, the distribution of crisis support and, on the other hand, politically set goals of increased sustainability. Whether the distribution of funds contributes to or counteracts, for example, increased gender equality, says Kristina Johansson, senior lecturer in human work science, who participates in the project.

Melinda From and Julia Jonasson Tolv from the state research institute RISE also participate in the project.

The project is carried out by Luleå University of Technology and RISE in close collaboration with Region Värmland, the incubator BizzMaker and the Gender Equality Agency. The project is funded by Formas.