The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: is frugal innovation an appropriate means of serving the underserved?

Flood-Mallinson, George (2014) The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: is frugal innovation an appropriate means of serving the underserved? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    In his 2005 publication, ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid’, C.K. Prahalad demonstrates that the Bottom of the Economic Pyramid (BOP) represents a significant market opportunity, and that selling to the BOP can simultaneously be profitable and help eradicate poverty. However, he also asserts that, in order to participate in these markets, the private sector must adopt a new approach to innovation, as traditional products, processes and services will not suffice. Consequently, based on C.K. Prahalad’s call for a new philosophy of product development and innovation, this thesis examines whether ‘frugal innovation’ can be considered an appropriate means of serving BOP markets. This paper is divided into three chapters. The first chapter contextualizes innovation by analysing a range of existing definitions and exploring the concept’s different stages, forms and types. The second chapter then demonstrates frugal innovation as a unique approach to innovation, examining the history of the concept and analysing its characteristics. Finally, the third chapter reviews C.K. Prahalad’s theory and examines five examples of frugal innovation against his 12 considerations for a new philosophy of product development and innovation. Given this foundation, this study shows that the fundamental features of frugal innovation accommodate Prahalad’s considerations, and, because of this, frugal innovation can be considered an appropriate means of serving BOP markets.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 11:46
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:45
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16093

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