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Reverse innovation antecedents

Felipe Mendes Borini (International Business Department, Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM), São Paulo, Brazil)
Sidney Costa (Business Administration Department, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Moacir de Miranda Oliveira Junior (Business Administration Department, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 18 April 2016




The purpose of this paper is to determine the antecedents of reverse innovation.


Data were collected through an online survey administered using telephone assistance and sent to the 1,000 largest (in terms of revenue) foreign subsidiaries in Brazil. The responding companies numbered 167. For the data analysis, the authors chose the statistical technique of structural equation modeling.


The paper shows that reverse innovation is related to headquarters’ support, autonomy, and integration. Specifically, the authors consider the power of strategic integration between headquarters and subsidiaries as one of the important antecedents of reverse innovation.

Practical implications

Integration has an important role to reverse innovation. In order to stimulate integration, the executive of a subsidiary can make such efforts as invest in the mechanism of the relationship and exchange knowledge with headquarters. For example, it is recommended to encourage travel to the headquarters to more accurately align perceptions of parent and subsidiary executives and to utilize expatriates from headquarters to provide knowledge to subsidiaries about the main processes of the company and to promote subsidiary innovations.


Literature contains some articles discussing and relating some cases of reverse innovation. However, this paper shows the organizational structure necessary for reverse innovation.



Borini, F.M., Costa, S. and Oliveira Junior, M.d.M. (2016), "Reverse innovation antecedents", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 175-189.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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