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Title: The reverse innovation strategies of the latecomer firms - a multiple-case study from China

Authors: Jia Ma; Yusen Xu

Addresses: School of Management, Chengdu University of Information Technology, No. 24 Block 1, Xuefu Road, 610225, Chengdu, China ' Business School (School of Quality Management and Standardisation), Foshan University, No. 18, Jiangwan Road, Chan Cheng, 528225, Foshan, China

Abstract: The reverse innovation strategies for latecomer firms are situation dependent. Based on the multiple-case study, how the latecomer firms adopt the reverse innovation strategy in different situations has been investigated. The market demand difference and technology gap between the developing country and developed country are proposed as the situational determinant of reverse innovation. Four reverse innovation strategies of the latecomer firms are illustrated coupling four different situations, including rapid-penetration strategy, differentiation-driven strategy, development-centred strategy and full-range strategy. A strategy selection framework of reverse innovation for latecomer firms is build up supported by the contingency theory. Two strategy evolution paths about how the latecomers achieve the overall reverse innovation have been identified. This paper contributes to theory on how latecomer firms accomplish the reverse innovation in resource constraints and enrich the understanding of reverse innovation strategy based on contingency approach.

Keywords: reverse innovation; latecomer firm; reverse innovation opportunity; emerging market; innovation strategy; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.127859

International Journal of Technology Management, 2023 Vol.91 No.1/2, pp.107 - 132

Accepted: 21 Jan 2022
Published online: 20 Dec 2022 *

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