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Thierry Burger-Helmchen and Caroline Hussler

This chapter provides a comprehensive understanding of the reverse innovation phenomenon, its underlying logics, associated challenges and potential future. We start tackling the peculiarity and scope of reverse innovation, by presenting existing yet confusing literature on the topic. We then refine the concept, thanks to an original analytical grid: if reverse innovation always incorporates a geographical diffusion process, it often also encompasses an evolution in the strategic target of innovation. Two versions of reverse innovation are thus pinpointed, and their respective managerial challenges discussed. In a concluding part, we broaden the perspective and put reverse innovation into the very context of global innovation management (and its evolution), in order to question reverse innovation potential persistency through time.

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Thierry Burger-Helmchen and Patrick Llerena