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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Design Business Management (IDBM) | 2014
Thesis number: 13847
Examining reverse innovation and collaboration: a case study in the context of Uganda
Author: Terrio, Mari
Title: Examining reverse innovation and collaboration: a case study in the context of Uganda
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Design Business Management (IDBM)
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; innovaatiot; innovations; yhteistyö; cooperation; Afrikka; Africa; kehitysmaat; developing countries; Uganda; Uganda
Pages: 137
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13847.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1302910)
Key terms: reverse innovation; frugal innovation; collaboration; developing country; Uganda; UNICEF

The objective of this research is to establish the increasing importance of reverse innovation and explore the possibility for carrying out reverse innovation collaboratively. A thorough examination of the phenomenon will allow for identification of the essential elements required in the process of reverse innovation. These elements will be utilized to assess a collaborative innovation initiative and explore its potential to engage in reverse innovation. Specifically, the goal of the research is to establish if, how, and why reverse innovation can be carried out collaboratively in the context of Uganda.

As existing literature did not provide a substantial framework for the process of reverse innovation, elements of key literature on reverse innovation were first adopted into a framework to model the reverse innovation process. This framework was utilized to examine the case study of the research, which introduced a collaborative innovation initiative, involving UNICEF, academia, and private sector from an advanced country. The case study presented research that had been carried out over the course of 2.5 years, through the author's primary involvement in the collaboration.

Findings from the empirical research led to an adaptation of the theoretical framework, which addressed how UNICEF, academia, and private sector from an advanced country could collaborate in a process of reverse innovation. Furthermore, two models were provided for establishing a collaborative initiative in the context of this case as well as innovating in the context of Uganda. Therefore, findings of this study introduced new additions to existing literature.

The findings indicated that collaboration is beneficial in the context of developing countries and it is in fact possible for reverse innovations to be carried out collaboratively, under certain circumstances. Private sector must be involved in the collaboration and one of the partners should be based full-time in the developing country. As it is expected that the innovation will be carried out concurrently in both an advanced and developing country, it will be necessary that a bulk of each phase of the reverse innovation process is spent predominantly in one of the markets. Ultimately, the flow of innovation can reverse between developing and advanced countries as long as it is eventually introduced into an advanced country.
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