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Going East: a framework for reverse innovation in SMEs

Dominik Dellermann (Chair of Innovation Management, Otto Friedrich Universitat Bamberg Fachgebiet Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Bamberg, Germany)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




Past research demonstrated that reverse innovation initiatives generate tremendous returns for innovators. However, the focus is on multinational corporations (MNCs). This paper aims to provide a framework how Western small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can drive reverse innovation success.


The author adopted an exploratory single case study research design. It draws on the findings from a German SME operating in the healthcare industry.


The research reveals that SME can use emerging markets growth opportunities by leveraging open business networks and a clear strategic focus on emerging economies as well as reverse commercialization. The findings provide a framework for managers of SMEs.


This paper analyses an important way for SMEs to enter emerging markets that has not been explored yet in the management literature and business practice. It offers deep insights of a unique case.



Dellermann, D. (2017), "Going East: a framework for reverse innovation in SMEs", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 30-39.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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