This study aims to review the frugal innovation literature in order to understand the main sources, theories, and overlapping concepts, as well as the input, success factors, impeding factors, and output of frugal innovations (FIs). A systematic research approach was applied in this study to synthesize the frugal innovation literature. Using a standard research review protocol, 101 relevant articles were extracted from 11 publication databases. We found that even though frugal innovation literature is in an embryonic stage there are over a dozen of definitions of it. This study analyses various definition of frugal innovation. The FI concept overlaps with a large number of other concepts, thus hindering the pace of FI research. Combining many overlapping concepts into one - frugal innovation - would help to develop frugal innovation as a well-established discipline. The theoretical development of frugal innovation discipline is still in an early stage. Hence, theory-driven studies are necessary. FIs are emerging from numerous sources as such exploring it from various levels and units of analysis are important. FI requires a significant change in a firm’s approach to innovation. It plays an important role in sustainability. Based on the analysis of the extant frugal innovation literature, this study points out research agenda.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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