Congratulations to our colleague Matthias Ploeg whose paper on Frugal Innovation is on the list of most-read articles of Innovation: Organization & Management Journal!

Frugal innovation aims at providing low-cost and resource-efficient solutions to low-income groups. While the concept has recently gotten substantial academic attention, insights into the antecedents of frugal innovation remain relatively poor. Matthias and his co-authors have systematically conceptualised, theorised and empirically tested the relationship between resource constraints and the inclination of firms to produce frugal innovations.

The study investigated frugal innovation with a unique dataset of 32 000 firms in 36 countries. It found that firms exposed to internal resource problems (e.g. electricity, skilled labour) respond with frugal innovation, when they have an experienced manager and their peers are not equally suffering from the same problems. The study also provide a first empirical estimate of frugal innovation prevalence, which is quite common when including ‘mundane’ internal process innovations, but rare when only focusing on customer-oriented frugal innovation.

Congratulations to Matthias and his co-authors Joris Knoben, Patrick Vermeulen and the CFIA – LDE Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa. Read all about frugal innovation in this open access paper!

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