Potential role of frugal innovation for diffusing energy management systems in Japan

  • Fumikazu MorimuraEmail author
  • Rajnish Tiwari
  • Stephan Buse


Increasing energy consumption is associated with major negative impacts on the climate. The Japanese government has sought to promote home energy management systems (HEMS) in private households as a measure to enhance energy security in the country. Reports suggest that while potential users appreciate the need for using HEMS, the actual adoption of HEMS in the country has remained low, suggesting a gap in consumer intention and its actual implementation. High upfront investment, high switching/operating costs and the perceived technological complexity are reported as inhibiting the adoption of HEMS in Japan. The objective of this chapter is to investigate whether and in what respects frugal innovations might help in overcoming barriers for the adoption of HEMS. Frugal innovations offer affordable excellence for significantly lowered prices, are focused on core functionalities, and enable optimized performance levels. Frugal solutions may enhance the consumer perception of benefits of HEMS, while reducing negative perceptions regarding high technological complexity or expensiveness. Although frugal innovation could help in solving the attitude-behaviour gap, to date, there is little research to argue the effect of frugal innovation on consumers’ decision making process. This research contributes to the innovation adoption or resistance literatures by applying frugal innovation, which allows innovation researchers and managers to understand the mechanism of the innovation diffusion more effectively.


Frugal Innovation Attitude-Behavior Gap Home Energy Management Systems Smart Homes, Japan, Consumer Behavior 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achrol, R. S. & Kotler, P. (2012). Frontiers of the marketing paradigm in the third millennium. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(1), 35–52.Google Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I., Brown, T. C., & Carvajal, F. (2004). Explaining the discrepancy between intentions and actions: The case of hypothetical bias in contingent valuation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(9), 1108–1121.Google Scholar
  3. Alirezaei, M., Onat, N., Tatari, O., & Abdel-Aty, M. (2017). The climate change-road safety-economy nexus: A system dynamics approach to understanding complex interdependencies. Systems, 5(1), 6.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, L., & Ostrom, A. L. (2015). Transformative service research: Advancing our knowledge about service and well-being. Journal of Service Research, 18(3), 243–249.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, L., Ostrom, A. L., Corus, C., Fisk, R. P., Gallan, A. S., Giraldo, M., Mende, M., Mulderm M., Rayburn, S. W., Rosenbau,, M. S., Shirahada, K., & Williams, J. D. (2013). Transformative service research: An agenda for the future. Journal of Business Research, 66(8), 1203–1210.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, L., Wadkins, M. (1991). Japan – A culture of consumption?. Advances in Consumer Research, 18, 129-134.Google Scholar
  7. Arts, J. W. C., Frambach, R. T., & Bijmolt, T. H. A. (2011). Generalizations on consumer innovation adoption: A meta-analysis on drivers of intention and behavior. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 28(2), 134–144.Google Scholar
  8. Aschemann-Witzel, J. & Aagaard, E. M. N. (2014). Elaborating on the attitude–behaviour gap regarding organic products: young Danish consumers and in-store food choice. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 38, 550–558.Google Scholar
  9. Auger, P. & Devinney, T. M. (2007). Do what consumers say matter? The misalignment of preferences with unconstrained ethical intentions. Journal of Business Ethics, 76, 361–383.Google Scholar
  10. Barclay, C. (2014). Using frugal innovations to support cybercrime legislations in small developing states: introducing the cyber-legislation development and implementation process model (CyberLeg-DPM). Information Technology for Development, 20(2), 165–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bettman, J. R. (1979). An information processing theory of consumer choice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  12. Brem, A., & Wolfram, P. (2014). Research and development from the bottom up- introduction of terminologies for new product development in emerging markets. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  13. Carrigan, M. & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer – Do ethics matter in purchase behaviour?. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560–577.Google Scholar
  14. Carrington, M. J., Neville, B. A., & Whitwell, G. J. (2010). Why ethical consumers don’t walk their talk: Towards a framework for understanding the gap between the ethical purchase intentions and actual buying behaviour of ethically minded consumers. Journal of Business Ethics, 97(1), 139–158.Google Scholar
  15. Claudy, M. C., Garcia, R., & O’Driscoll, A. (2015). Consumer resistance to innovation—a behavioral reasoning perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(4), 528–544.Google Scholar
  16. Claudy, M. C., Peterson, M., & O’Driscoll, A. (2013). Understanding the attitude-behavior gap for renewable energy systems using behavioral reasoning theory. Journal of Macromarketing, 33(4), 273–287.Google Scholar
  17. Cunha, M. P. e., Rego, A., Oliveira, P., Rosado, P., & Habib, N. (2014). Product innovation in resource-poor environments: three research streams. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(2), 202–210.Google Scholar
  18. Daneshvar, M., Pesaran, M., & Mohammadi-ivatloo, B. (2018). Transactive energy integration in future smart rural network electrification. Journal of Cleaner Production, 190, 645–654.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User acceptance of computer technology: A comparison of two theoretical models. Management Science, 35(8), 982–1003.Google Scholar
  20. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  21. Fuji Keizai (2015). Future view of HEMS/MEMS market toward diffusion of low carbonization/zero-energy housing.Google Scholar
  22. Fuji Keizai (2017). General survey of relevant market of energy management system 2017.Google Scholar
  23. George, G., Mcgahan, A. M., & Prabhu, J. (2012). Innovation for inclusive growth: Towards a theoretical framework and a research agenda. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4), 661–683.Google Scholar
  24. GOJ (2012). Green policy outline. Government of Japan, National Policy Unit.Google Scholar
  25. GOJ (2014). Construction and promotion project of the point of CO2 reduction through HEMS 2014, Government Of Japan, Ministry of the environmentGoogle Scholar
  26. GOJ (2016a). Documents of forth energy resource aggregation business meeting. Government of Japan, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.Google Scholar
  27. GOJ (2016b). FY 2016 White paper on manufacturing industries. Government of Japan, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.Google Scholar
  28. GOJ (2018). Policy trends of promotion of ZEH and related budget in fiscal 2018. Government of Japan, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.Google Scholar
  29. Goldsmith, R. E., Reinecke Flynn, L., & Clark, R. A. (2014). The etiology of the frugal consumer. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(2), 175–184.Google Scholar
  30. Gregan-Paxton, J., & John, D. R. (1997). Consumer learning by analogy: a model of internal knowledge transfer. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(3), 266–284.Google Scholar
  31. Grimmer, M., & Miles, M. P. (2017). With the best of intentions: a large sample test of the intention-behaviour gap in pro-environmental consumer behaviour. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41(1), 2–10.Google Scholar
  32. Hart, S. L., & Christensen, C. M. (2002). The great leap. Sloan Management Review, 44(1), 51–56.Google Scholar
  33. Hassan, L. M., Shiu, E., & Shaw, D. (2016). Who says there is an intention–behaviour gap? Assessing the empirical evidence of an intention - behaviour gap in ethical consumption. Journal of Business Ethics, 136(2), 219-236.Google Scholar
  34. Heidenreich, S., & Handrich, M. (2015). What about passive innovation resistance? Investigating adoption-related behavior from a resistance perspective. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(6), 878–903.Google Scholar
  35. Hemmati, R. (2017). Technical and economic analysis of home energy management system incorporating small-scale wind turbine and battery energy storage system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 159, 106–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Herstatt, C., & Tiwari, R. (2017). Lead Market India: Key Elements and Corporate Perspectives for Frugal Innovations. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  37. Hemmati, R. (2017). Technical and economic analysis of home energy management system incorporating small-scale wind turbine and battery energy storage system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 159, 106–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hoeffler, S. (2003). Measuring preferences for really new products. Journal of Marketing Research, 40(4), 406−421.Google Scholar
  39. Huang, M. H., & Rust, R. T. (2011). Sustainability and consumption. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(1), 40–54.Google Scholar
  40. Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (2017). Renewables 2017 Japan status report.Google Scholar
  41. International Energy Agency (2016). World energy outlook 2016.Google Scholar
  42. Juvan, E., & Dolnicar, S. (2014). The attitude-behaviour gap in sustainable tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 48, 76–95.Google Scholar
  43. Kim, H. W., Chan, H. C., & Gupta, S. (2007). Value-based adoption of mobile internet: An empirical investigation. Decision Support Systems, 43(1), 111-126.Google Scholar
  44. King, W. R., & He, J. (2006). A meta-analysis of the technology acceptance model. Information and Management, 43(6), 740–755.Google Scholar
  45. Kuhl, J., & Beckmann, J. (1985). Historical perspectives in the study of action control. In J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann (Eds.), Action control from cognition to behavior (pp. 89–100). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  46. Lane, B., & Potter, S. (2007). The adoption of cleaner vehicles in the UK: exploring the consumer attitude-action gap. Journal of Cleaner Production, 15(11–12), 1085–1092.Google Scholar
  47. Laukkanen, T. (2016). Consumer adoption versus rejection decisions in seemingly similar service innovations: The case of the Internet and mobile banking. Journal of Business Research, 69(7), 2432–2439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Laukkanen, P., Sinkkonen, S., & Laukkanen, T. (2008). Consumer resistance to internet banking: Postponers, opponents and rejectors. The International Journal of Bank Marketing, 26(6), 440–455.Google Scholar
  49. Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., Feinberg, G., & Howe, P. (2015). Climate change in the American mind. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.Google Scholar
  50. Lian, J. W., & Yen, D. C. (2013). To buy or not to buy experience goods online: Perspective of innovation adoption barriers. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 665–672.Google Scholar
  51. ASMAG (2018). Japan progresses faster with smart energy management. Retrieved 30, January, 2019, from
  52. Melville, I. (1999). Marketing in Japan. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
  53. National Institute for Environmental Studies (2017). Public-opinion survey on awareness of environmental issues 2016.Google Scholar
  54. Nikou, S. A., & Economides, A. A. (2017). Mobile-based assessment: Integrating acceptance and motivational factors into a combined model of self-determination theory and technology acceptance. Computers in Human Behavior, 68, 83–95.Google Scholar
  55. Olshavsky, R. W. & Spreng, R.A. (1996). An exploratory study of the innovation evaluation process. Journal of Product Innovation Management. 13, 512–529.Google Scholar
  56. Ostrom, A. L., Bitner, M. J., Brown, S. W., Burkhard, K. A., Goul, M., Smith-Daniels, V., Demirkan, H., & Rabinovich, E. (2010). Moving forward and making a difference: Research priorities for the science of service. Journal of Service Research, 13(1), 4–36.Google Scholar
  57. Papaoikonomou, E., Ryan, G., & Ginieis, M. (2011). Towards a Holistic Approach of the Attitude Behaviour Gap in Ethical Consumer Behaviours: Empirical Evidence from Spain. International Advances in Economic Research, 17(1), 77–88.Google Scholar
  58. Perera, C., Auger, P., & Klein, J. (2016). Green consumption practices among young environmentalists: A practice theory perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, in printing.Google Scholar
  59. Ram, S. & Sheth, J. N. (1989). Consumer resistance to innovations: The marketing problem and its solutions. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 6(2), 5-14.Google Scholar
  60. Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  61. SBI Sumishin Net Bank (2013). Consumer awareness survey of the house purchase.Google Scholar
  62. Schumann, J. H., Wünderlich, N. V., & Wangenheim, F. (2012). Technology mediation in service delivery: A new typology and an agenda for managers and academics. Technovation, 32(2), 133–143.Google Scholar
  63. Sharma, A., & Iyer, G. R. (2012). Resource-constrained product development: Implications for green marketing and green supply chains. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(4), 599–608.Google Scholar
  64. Soni, P., & Krishnan, R. T. (2014). Frugal innovation: aligning theory, practice, and public policy. Journal of Indian Business Research, 6(1), 29–47.Google Scholar
  65. Sutton, S. (1998). Predicting and explaining intentions and behavior: How well are we doing?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 28(15), 1317–1338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Snyder, M. (1979). Self-monitoring processes. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 12, 85-128.Google Scholar
  67. Talke, K. & Heidenreich, S. (2014). How to overcome pro-change bias: Incorporating passive and active innovation resistance in innovation decision models. Journal of Product Innovation Management. 31 (5), 894–907.Google Scholar
  68. Tiwari, R., & Herstatt, C. (2012). Assessing India’s lead market potential for cost-effective innovations. Journal of Indian Business Research, 4(2), 97–115.Google Scholar
  69. Tiwari, S., & Tiwari, R. (2019). Scope of cooperation between India & Germany in Renewables with a focus on Opportunities in the Wind Sector in India. Hamburg: Consulate General of India.Google Scholar
  70. Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (2003). User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view. MIS Quarterly, 27(3), 425–478.Google Scholar
  71. Venkatesh, V., Thong, J. Y. L., & Xu, X. (2012). Consumer acceptance and use of information technology: extending the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology. MIS Quarterly, 36(1), 157–178.Google Scholar
  72. Westaby, J. D. (2005). Behavioral reasoning theory: Identifying new linkages underlying intentions and behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 98(2), 97–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Weyrauch, T. & Herstatt, C. (2016). What is frugal innovation? Three defining criteria. Journal of Frugal Innovation, 2(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  74. Wong, J. K. & Sheth, J. N. (1985). Explaining intention-behavior discrepancy - A paradigm. Advances in Consumer Research, 12(1), 378-384.Google Scholar
  75. Wooldridge, A. (2010). First break all the rules: the charms of frugal innovation. The Economist, April 17, 3–5.Google Scholar
  76. Wunderlich, P., Kranz, J., Totzek, D., Veit, D., & Picot, A. (2013). The impact of endogenous motivations on adoption of IT-enabled services: The case of transformative services in the energy sector. Journal of Service Research, 16(3), 356–371.Google Scholar
  77. Zeithaml, V. A. (1988). Consumer perceptions of price, quality and value: a means-end model and synthesis of evidence. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52(3), 2-22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zeithaml, V. A., Berry, L. L., & Parasuraman, A. (1993). The nature and determinations of customer expectations of service. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 21(1), 1-12.Google Scholar
  79. Zhou, B., Li, W., Chan, K.W., Cao, Y., Kuang, Y., Liu, X., & Wang, X. (2016). Smart home energy management systems: Concept, configurations, and scheduling strategies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 61, 30-40.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumikazu Morimura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajnish Tiwari
    • 2
  • Stephan Buse
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Business AdministrationKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Technology and Innovation ManagementHamburg University of TechnologyHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations