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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 September 2022

Valentina De Marchi, Maria A. Pineda-Escobar, Rachel Howell, Michelle Verheij and Peter Knorringa

Advance the state-of-the-art on how frugal innovation links to sustainability outcomes and based on content analysis of empirical publications in the field of frugal

Abstract

Purpose

Advance the state-of-the-art on how frugal innovation links to sustainability outcomes and based on content analysis of empirical publications in the field of frugal innovation, analyzing when and how FI is connected with social, environmental and economic outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative content analysis on empirical papers published on frugal innovation, using data visualization techniques to disclose relationships among the constructs adopted. Materials were collected following a step-wise methodology. In total, 130 articles were identified, read in depth and coded according to five main categories: context; development; implementation, adoption, diffusion; characteristics; and impacts.

Findings

The potential of frugal innovation to drive sustainability outcomes is influenced by the type of actors developing the innovation, regarding their organizational form (large firms, small firms, non-firm actors), their geographical origin (foreign or local) or motivations (mostly profit-motivated or socially-oriented). Collaboration plays a key role along the various stages of the frugal innovation cycle and is thus relevant for its potential to drive sustainability outcomes. The results reaffirm the need for greater attention to where and when sustainability-enhancing outcomes of frugal innovation are more likely to occur.

Originality/value

This study provides a qualitative study based on content analysis of empirical studies to explore the associations between frugal innovations and improved economic, environmental and social sustainability outcomes. The key novelty of this study lies in the systematic coding of each paper regarding the features of the innovation, the innovators, and the outcomes achieved. This allows taking stock of the evidence emerging in such a scattered literature, quantifying the extent to which insights take place in the empirical literature, looking for correlations, and highlight research gaps to understand to what extent frugal innovation can contribute to sustainable development.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2018

Vera Ferrón Vilchez and Dante Ignacio Leyva de la Hiz

This chapter proposes frugal eco-innovation as an eco-efficient way into which firms might shift their existing business models, exploring how firms are able to cut costs…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter proposes frugal eco-innovation as an eco-efficient way into which firms might shift their existing business models, exploring how firms are able to cut costs and reduce negative environmental impacts simultaneously.

Design/methodology/approach

This work introduces the concept of frugal eco-innovation based on numerous examples about how several European companies are adopting this management perspective. These examples are obtained from these companies’ public environmental reports.

Findings

A summary of how cost reduction could be achieved by firms on the basis of frugal eco-innovation; further, the pathway for how managers could achieve an effective implementation of frugal eco-innovation.

Practical implications

By developing frugal eco-innovation, managers are able to benefit from a management alternative that is ecologically sustainable and economically profitable.

Social implications

This work highlights how frugal eco-innovation could benefit, on the one hand, firms via the achievement of cost reduction and, on the other hand, the society in general via the diminution of the negative environmental impacts generated by the business activity.

Originality/value

This work analyses a management orientation that could be implemented in order to shift business models towards a more ecological production, highlighting how firms are able to do more with less.

Details

The Critical State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-149-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2022

Changyu Wang and Xiaolin Li

The purpose of this study is to examine how knowledge integration influences entrepreneurial firms’ frugal innovation in the service industry. This study builds a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how knowledge integration influences entrepreneurial firms’ frugal innovation in the service industry. This study builds a moderated mediation framework to investigate the effect of knowledge integration on frugal innovation via entrepreneurial bricolage and under moderations of competitive intensity and government support.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a two-wave survey study among 278 entrepreneurial firms from the service industry in China.

Findings

The findings reveal that knowledge integration positively influences entrepreneurial firms’ frugal innovation via entrepreneurial bricolage. Competitive intensity strengthens both the direct effect of knowledge integration on entrepreneurial bricolage and the indirect effects of knowledge integration on frugal innovation via entrepreneurial bricolage. Government support buffers the effect of entrepreneurial bricolage on frugal innovation but does not influence the indirect effect of knowledge integration on frugal innovation.

Practical implications

This study advocates for managers in entrepreneurial firms to cultivate knowledge integration to improve frugal innovation through activating entrepreneurial bricolage strategy and to pay attention to competitive intensity and government support in the transformation process from knowledge integration to frugal innovation.

Originality/value

While the link between knowledge integration and frugal innovation of entrepreneurial firms in the service industry remains unexplored in the fields of knowledge and innovation management, this study contributes to the knowledge and innovation management literature by exploring the mediating role of entrepreneurial bricolage based on a knowledge-based view and the moderation roles of competitive intensity and government support in this relationship.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 January 2022

Muhammad Usman Shehzad, Jianhua Zhang, Phong Ba Le, Khalid Jamil and Ziao Cao

Given the importance of frugal innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in developing countries, this study aims to explore the role of IT resources on…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the importance of frugal innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in developing countries, this study aims to explore the role of IT resources on frugal innovation through the mediating roles of knowledge sources and to what extent the relationship between sources of knowledge and frugal innovation is strengthened or weakened under the moderating effects of market turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an empirical study. Data were gathered from 355 SME employees of Pakistan through a questionnaire survey; the variance-based PLS-SEM approach was used to analyze the data.

Findings

Findings reveal the significant impacts of IT resources on different aspects of frugal innovation, namely, frugal functionality (FF), frugal cost (FC) and frugal ecosystem (FE). Moreover, the paper highlights the mediating roles of sources of knowledge in the relationship between IT resources and frugal innovation in frugal functionality and frugal cost. Findings also revealed that the moderation of market turbulence strengthens the effects of sources of knowledge on frugal functionality and ecosystem, but surprisingly weakens the relationship between sources of knowledge and frugal cost.

Research limitations/implications

To bring a deeper understanding of the significant role of IT and knowledge sources, future research should examine the potential moderating role of environmental factors or perceived organizational support or mediating role of knowledge management processes in the relationship between IT resources and frugal innovation.

Practical implications

The paper provides a valuable understanding and novel approach for directors of SMEs in developing countries to improve their frugal innovation capability through IT and knowledge resources.

Originality/value

This study contributes to bridging research gaps in the literature and advances how IT resources, directly and indirectly, help firms improve frugal innovation capability via mediating roles of sources of knowledge.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Syed Mudasser Abbas and Zhiqiang Liu

Sustainable development research assumes that startups, under extreme financial constraints, cannot sacrifice resources now for benefits later without risking their…

1069

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable development research assumes that startups, under extreme financial constraints, cannot sacrifice resources now for benefits later without risking their survival. Furthermore, their non-compliance with environmental regulations adds fuel to the fire. This paper aims to explore the challenges faced by startups in resource-scarce economies and the innovative ways of coping with these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study was collected through 17 semi-structured interviews taken from startup owners and industry experts based in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The transcribed data were coded through NVivo 12 and themes were generated by merging 47 open and 14 axial codes.

Findings

The findings show that a lack of government support and lack of organisational readiness and motivation significantly affect startups’ frugal eco-innovation. Empirical evidence reveals problems related to the business ecosystem, and internal organisational issues also contribute to challenges faced by startups in attaining a competitive position in the industry.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s findings suggested leveraging dynamic capabilities can help lean startups in frugal eco-innovation. Furthermore, organisational cohesion, business ecosystem, government regulations and assistantship, organisational mismanagement and market realisation are decisive in startups’ competitive position in emerging economies.

Practical implications

The findings of the study will result in a higher adoption rate of more competitive business models, and hence, startups’ sustainability. The results would be an effective and efficient deployment of sustainable technological solutions, creating more customer and shareholder value leading to economic growth.

Originality/value

This research offers a comprehensive analysis of frugal eco-innovative startups by exploring the interplay between different challenges and organisational capabilities. Furthermore, the study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by providing empirical evidence that eco-innovation can be conducted in a resource-constrained environment. This study challenged the scholarly and managerial assumption of the availability of finances as a significant player in eco-innovation. The study also links the Darwin theory of startups to a competitive edge over rivals for startups’ survival.

Details

Innovation & Management Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-8961

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

Leandro Lima Santos, Felipe Mendes Borini, Moacir de Miranda Oliveira, Dennys Eduardo Rossetto and Roberto Carlos Bernardes

This research aims to answer the following question: Could bricolage become a capability for companies in emerging markets to develop frugal innovations in times of…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to answer the following question: Could bricolage become a capability for companies in emerging markets to develop frugal innovations in times of crisis? Therefore, in this paper the main aim is to identify whether in times of crisis the development of frugal innovation in emerging markets depends on the bricolage capability.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were statistically tested using the structural equation modeling technique, with data collected through the survey method applied to 215 companies in Brazil.

Findings

The results allowed support for the hypothesis that bricolage capability has a positive impact on the development of frugal innovation. Therefore, a mediating test was verified, allowing confirmation that to develop frugal innovation in emerging markets, bricolage becomes a required capability for companies in times of crisis.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this study lies in considering the effect of bricolage on frugal innovation only in the context of Brazil, while in developed countries this effect may be similar, as they also suffer from resource constraints caused by crises.

Practical implications

This research provides insights to guide managers by highlighting bricolage as a key managerial capability for the development of frugal innovation. A set of managerial recommendations are provided based on bricolage skills.

Originality/value

The study has contributed to the literature on bricolage and frugal innovation by addressing bricolage as an antecedent of frugal innovation in emerging markets, especially when those markets are affected by resource scarcity.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Qaisar Iqbal, Noor Hazlina Ahmad and Zeyun Li

This study draws on the upper echelon perspective and effectuation theory to put insights on the relationship between sustainable leadership and sustainable performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This study draws on the upper echelon perspective and effectuation theory to put insights on the relationship between sustainable leadership and sustainable performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study had adopted the cluster-sampling approach to collect data from 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) established in China and India with 46.60% response rate. The SmartPLS 3.0 was employed for data analysis.

Findings

This study verified the mediating role of frugal innovation in emerging markets. Both market and technological turbulence significantly moderated the sustainable leadership-frugal innovation relationship. Nevertheless, the effect of sustainable leadership on frugal innovation did not vary for the different values of entrepreneurial bricolage.

Originality/value

This article contributes by revealing the moderating effect of market and technological turbulence as moderator. Greater market and technological turbulence led to greater impact of sustainable leadership practices on frugal innovation.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Oly Mishra

This study aims to focus on implementing frugal innovation and its principles by social entrepreneurs to face the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on implementing frugal innovation and its principles by social entrepreneurs to face the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research paper discusses the case of an Indian social entrepreneur who works for menstrual health and hygiene of unprivileged and rural women in India. The social entrepreneur’s constant endeavor is to create an ecosystem to ensure rural women’s economic and social upliftment through financial inclusion and livelihood training. When faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the social entrepreneur re-purposed the manufacturing process to produce masks that were the need of the hour.

Design/methodology/approach

The research paper is qualitative and follows an inductive case study approach. The underlying principles of frugal innovation are established through content analysis of the social entrepreneur’s interviews and her team members.

Findings

The study discusses how adversity can be an opportunity for social entrepreneurs by implementing frugal innovation principles, i.e. re-use, re-purpose, re-combine and rapidity, in times of crisis.

Research limitations/implications

One of the major limitations of this study is that it is based on a single case study, as, in the current scenario, this case appeared to be the most suitable one. There is no way to generalize the assumptions of this model. Researchers will have to study the phenomena of frugal innovation in adversity across multiple cases in the future. Also, the study is based on a single emerging economy, i.e. India. Further research may be carried out with such cases from other countries.

Practical implications

The proposition of this research paper will help new and established social entrepreneurs understand that the four principles of frugal innovation and their practical application by a social entrepreneur. This will act as a guiding light for the present and future entrepreneurs regarding how one can respond to a crisis. This will also help advance our understanding of the distinct ways in which social entrepreneurs’ activities can help society in times of crisis. The findings of this research paper provide timely implications for social entrepreneurs. To respond efficiently to various crises, it is important to consider its effect on social entrepreneurship.

Social implications

The research paper shows that the social enterprise has implemented frugal innovation principles to manufacture the COVID-19 protection items supplied through existing supply chain networks. Also, a social entrepreneur is not intimidated by the sudden changes in the business environment; instead, they look at the situation as an opportunity to do something new. They are always willing to take the risk to innovate a solution that will address people’s problems. frugal innovation, due to its highly collaborative nature and its ability to make the most from limited resources, is the only way social entrepreneurs can create an inclusive, secure and sustainable future.

Originality/value

There are several challenges in social entrepreneurship, especially in emerging economies like India. During the pandemic, availability of resources was the major challenge, due to which social entrepreneurs had to find solutions through frugal innovation. This paper provides the practical application of the four principles of frugal innovation implemented by a social enterprise to manufacture and supply Covid protection items. It also presents the practical and managerial implications of the principles of frugal innovation by social entrepreneurs in low resource settings.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Leonor Costa, Aurora Teixeira and Ana Brochado

This study aims to understand why young people are interested in buying frugal innovations.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand why young people are interested in buying frugal innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected with a survey administered to 534 university students enrolled in various fields of study (e.g. sciences, technology, economics and fine arts). Using the Tata Nano car as an example of frugal innovation, a model based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology was developed using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The model’s results reveal that effort expectancy, performance expectancy and facilitating conditions are critical factors that explain university students’ intention to buy Tata Nano.

Originality/value

Although frugal innovations are often introduced first in developing countries, frugal innovations could be highly relevant to users in developed nations as these innovations can provide market opportunities in terms of cost-conscious, relatively low-income and sustainability-conscious consumers.

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Abdullah Fahad AlMulhim

This study aims to analyze the effect of external and internal sources of knowledge on frugal innovation. Moreover, it investigated how this relationship is…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the effect of external and internal sources of knowledge on frugal innovation. Moreover, it investigated how this relationship is weakened/strengthened by the moderation of innovation capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study’s data were taken from 288 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using a questionnaire survey. To analyze this data, analysis of a moment structures software (AMOS) was used. Structural equation modeling was conducted to test the hypothesis and the slope test investigated moderation.

Findings

The study results showed the significant effect of internal and external sources of knowledge on frugal innovation. Moreover, the results highlighted that the moderating role of innovation capabilities strengthens this relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The SMEs of “Saudi Arabia” were considered for this study. Among these, this paper only focused on enterprises owned by Saudi citizens. Moreover, the data were collected from 288 SMEs. Therefore, future studies can be conducted from any other country with larger sample size. This study has used moderation of innovation capabilities and future studies can use information credibility as a moderating variable.

Originality/value

Previously, many studies have highlighted the importance of knowledge for innovation, but the effects of knowledge sources from the perspective of SMEs and emerging markets remain unexplained. Very limited studies have explored the relation of knowledge sources with frugal innovation. This study first examines the moderating role of innovation capabilities between “internal and external knowledge sources” and frugal innovation. Moreover, this research reveals the SMEs of Saudi Arabia and its sector of frugal products.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

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