The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 5: Reverse innovation

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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