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Understanding the feasibility and value of grassroots innovation

Abstract

Grassroots innovation (GRI) that meets the needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid is driven typically by economically disadvantaged people who find practical and creative solutions using indigenous knowledge to solve their localized problems. In this study, we propose a comprehensive framework to describe factors contributing to the feasibility and value of GRI in society. By employing a triangulation approach, we identify the drivers of GRI, develop and define GRI as a multidimensional construct, explain the outcomes, and suggest the moderating factors conducive to GRI success. We then discuss and develop research propositions on the various proposed relationships in the GRI framework. In addition to setting up a foundation for a future research stream based on GRI, this study provides implications for policymakers, mainstream firms, and co-operative societies/non-profit organizations to realize the financial, environmental, and societal benefits from GRI.

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Notes

  1. This paper defines grassroots as an economically disadvantaged segment (mostly fall in BOP segment), coming from rural or nonurban areas.

  2. http://nif.org.in/aboutnif.

  3. http://nif.org.in/innovation/multi_purpose_bicycle/246.

  4. http://nif.org.in/innovation/surjeet-basmati-1%2D%2Dhigh-yielding-and-salt-tolerant-paddy-variety/790.

  5. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978.

  6. https://data.unicef.org/topic/education/literacy/#.

  7. http://nif.org.in/vard.

  8. https://ngodarpan.gov.in.

  9. http://www.makeinindia.com/home.

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the special issue Guest Editors and the anonymous reviewers for their guidance and support in the review process. The author would also like to thank Anita Pansari and JeeWon Brianna Choi for providing feedback in an earlier version of the manuscript. Author thanks Nupur Krishna for her valuable feedback at various stages of the preparation of this manuscript. The author is also grateful to Rajan Vardarajan and Jagdish Sheth for their insightful guidance at various stages during the development of the paper. In addition, author thanks the participants at the Thought Leaders Conference on Managing Business and Innovation in Emerging Markets, held at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, India from April 26-28, 2018, for their valuable feedback on this article.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 4 Description of some of the innovations considered in the study (select innovations)

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Gupta, S. Understanding the feasibility and value of grassroots innovation. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 48, 941–965 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00639-9

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Keywords

  • Grassroots innovation
  • Social inclusion
  • Sustainability
  • Bottom of the pyramid