IAJBS 23rd Annual World Forum University of Namur, Namur, Belgium

Experience level: 
Mamadou Sissoko, Annick Castiaux

Antecedents and Consequences of Innovation under constraints in developing countries: Case study in Malian agricultural area

Recently, the topic of innovation under resource constraints or frugal innovation has attracted the attention of a growing number of scholars in the innovation management research. Innovation under constraints emerges from resource-constrained environments and voids in institutional settings. The lack of financial, material, human, and natural resources encourages the development of such innovation. This new approach focuses on idea to do more with less, for more people. In this way it seems opposed to innovation view in industrialized countries, which requires more resources for innovation. Innovation under constraints is more closely associated with developing countries but it also can be an opportunity for developed countries. In the developing world, customers are mostly poor and poorly served. They thus need appropriate, affordable, and accessible products and services. Despite the growing interest of this topic, there are very few empirical studies on how innovation under constraints occurs. The present article starts with an analysis of different types of innovation under constraints as they are described in the literature. Then, using a case study, it explores the antecedents and consequences of innovation under constraints in developing countries. Based on a comprehensive qualitative approach, our work examines, specifically, the case of an innovation project in the agricultural sector in Mali. The case concerned the development of new seeder machine. Its analysis is based on 25 interviews that were performed among members of the agricultural communities, of agricultural research institutes, and of NGOs. To analyse our results, we first compare the reality of our innovation field to a variety of innovation concepts. This leads us to propose an integrated view of the innovation under constraints, embedded in the innovation management literature. Additionally, we use the model of Bhatti and Ventresca (2013) to study the different antecedents (throughout the whole innovation process) and consequences that an innovation under constraints faces or produces. Regarding antecedents, our empirical results show the importance of resource constraints, institutional voids, and collaboration, as proposed in the model. Concerning consequences, we identify economic, social, environmental, institutional and collaborative impacts. This leads us to relate innovation under constraints with sustainability and inclusion challenges. Through this research, we aim at contributing to research on innovation management in the context of developing countries. The main limit of the current project is that our data were based only on a single case. Hence, it may be that in gathering empirical data from a larger group of cases, some new elements could be emerged. Our future research will be dedicated to capture the effects of innovation under constraints, and we should examine a longitudinal sample. So, the quantitative research design will be needed. Keywords: Frugal innovation, Agricultural innovation, Sustainable innovation, Developing countries innovation References Bhatti, Yasser, and Marc Ventresca. “How can frugal innovation be conceptualized?” Oxford: Said Business School Working Paper Series (2013). Accessed September 8, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2203552. Prahalad, C.K. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Eradicating Poverty through Profits. Wharton School Publishing, 2005. Radjou, Navi, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja, and Kevin Roberts. Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Rosca, Eugenia, Marlen Arnold, and Julia C. Bendul. “Business models for sustainable innovation e an empirical analysis of frugal products and services.” Journal of Cleaner Production (2016): 1-13. Accessed September 3, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.050. Sharma Arun, Gopalkrishnan R. Iyer. “Resource-constrained product development: Implications for green marketing and green supply chains.” Industrial Marketing Management 41 (2012): 599-608. Accessed October 11, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2012.04.007.