Can frugal go global? Diffusion patterns of frugal innovations

Mokter Hossain*, Henri Simula, Minna Halme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The diffusion of frugal innovation has been an uncharted territory so far. The purpose of this study is to shed light on this topic and to explore the different diffusion patterns. While practitioners have shown growing interest in scaling up frugal innovations, the extant academic literature on the diffusion topic is scarce. In this article, we identify four main diffusion patterns of frugal innovations. We label these diffusion patterns as local diffusion, proximity diffusion, distance diffusion, and global diffusion. Both proximity diffusion and distance diffusion take place predominantly in the countries where the socio-economic context is quite similar. In rare cases, frugal innovation can diffuse globally and find its ways into developed markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalTechnology in Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Diffusion patterns of innovation
  • Frugal innovation
  • Innovation management
  • Low-income markets
  • Reverse innovation


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