The Role of Organizations, Markets and Communities in Social Innovation
Edited by Gerard George, Ted Baker, Paul Tracey and Havovi Joshi
Chapter 20: Frugal innovation and social innovation: linked paths to achieving inclusion sustainably
Amidst growing concern about inequality, there are calls for new ways to innovate to provide for more marginalized and underserved consumers globally. While individually the two concepts of social and frugal innovation have gained much prominence in practice and research, in this chapter the authors theoretically link the two to help increase our understanding of how to better achieve inclusive markets and societies both locally and globally. Social and frugal innovation independently seek to make the process and outcomes of innovation more economically and socially inclusive and sustainable, but together the sum of the two can be greater than the whole and can help us better tackle the problems that underpin Grand Challenges such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Accordingly, in this chapter, the authors discuss why social and frugal innovation are important together; where they find examples of such innovations; what the similarities and differences between the two are; and why a combined approach can solve the Grand Challenges of our time and improve social and economic inclusion sustainably around the world. The authors highlight opportunities for future research based on their model and discuss implications for research and practice. To outline key issues, they discuss substantive, conceptual and empirical concerns in linking frugal and social innovation through inclusion for both economic and social benefit. To capitalize on the potential intersection between social and frugal innovation, the authors invite researchers to advance theoretical and empirical studies and to practitioners and policy makers to harness hybrid models of innovation that can be instrumental in resolving the most pressing Grand Challenges globally.
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