The Emerging Market for Frugal Innovation: Fad, Fashion, or Fit?
40 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 15, 2012
There is growing interest among both private and public sectors to serve the underserved in emerging or developing countries leading to, what we call the market for frugal innovation. This paper is divided into two parts. First, we discuss the rhetoric surrounding frugal innovation and attempt to understand the discourse surrounding it as fad, fashion, or fit. Second, we seek to map the emergence of this market by suggesting drivers and the making of a social movement involving different actors pursuing both contentious and complementary approaches to achieve the same outcome, i.e. one of creating value for underserved populations. An understanding of how the rhetoric and market for frugal innovation has emerged will be useful in opening a research agenda. Consequently we cover opportunities and challenges to growth of the market as well as draw implications to academic theory and practice.
Keywords: Frugal innovation, social movement, emerging market, constraints, fad, fashion
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