Frugal Innovation: A Developmental Implications Perspective

Daniel Etse, Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the implications of frugal innovation for socio-economic development. Two case studies, eRanger motorcycle ambulance and Tata Swach water purifier, are examined using the qualitative content analysis methodology. The findings suggest that frugal innovation’s developmental effect is nuanced; while it may enhance living conditions at the micro level and serve as a useful stop gap measure for managing developmental challenges, it might not be adequate for addressing the underlying factors of socio-economic underdevelopment. Related theoretical and practical implications highlight the need to recognise the developmental capabilities and limitations of frugal innovation in order to ensure its appropriate use for purposes of development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation
EditorsAdela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn, Chamindika Weerakoon
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030599164
ISBN (Print)9783030599157
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • frugal innovation
  • socio-economic development
  • Development
  • eRanger motorcycle ambulance
  • Tata Swach
  • Frugal innovation
  • Socio-economic development
  • ERanger motorcycle ambulance


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