Grassroots innovation: A systematic review of two decades of research

Mokter Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Grassroots innovation (GI) is an important strand for cleaner production and sustainable development. Studies have explored various facets of grassroots innovation. Despite two decades of research, however, there is no systematic review of the GI literature. The objective of this study is to synthesize the existing literature on GI. It identifies the main theories, characteristics, stakeholders, challenges, diffusion, and potential of GI, among others. The study points out how GI contributes to sustainability. It shows that only a few scholars have a significant contribution, which limits the broad expansion of the GI discipline. Moreover, GI literature has not been linked with the mainstream innovation literature. Even though GI is significant for sustainable development, its impact is limited in reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-981
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2016
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Cleaner production
  • Community
  • Diffusion
  • Grassroots innovation
  • Niche
  • Sustainable development


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