Title: Leadership and CSR driving frugal and reverse innovations: a conceptual framework for SME-MNE partnerships

Authors: Andrée Marie López-Fernández; Rajagopal

Addresses: Department of ECEE, School of Economics and Business, México City Campus, Universidad Panamericana, Augusto Rodin 498, Benito Juárez, Insurgentes Mixcoac, 03920 Ciudad de México, Mexico ' Department of Doctoral Studies in Administrative Sciences, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, EGADE Business School México City Campus, Calle del Puente 222, Col. Ejidos de Huipulco, Delegación Tlalpan, C.P. 14380, Mexico

Abstract: A firm's leadership environment is a significant determinant of its overall direction, the way it approaches its business dynamics. Small firms and those operating in emerging markets tend to be disregarded when discussing innovativeness, social responsibility and business growth. However, it is suggested that a partnership may, in fact, not only achieve the latter but also significantly impact social growth and development. This paper contributes to the literature on innovation, leadership and corporate social responsibility as it puts forth two models, one with defined propositions, and the other with suggested implications of potential innovation transformation. They propose a shift in the link between CSR, innovativeness, and SME-MNE partnerships. It is suggested that innovations may undergo an evolution from frugal to corporate socially responsible innovations. The dynamics of a socially responsible, innovative, partnership directly reflect on business and social growth and development; therefore, also potentiating partnerships in developing and developed markets.

Keywords: leadership; SME/MNE partnership; corporate social responsibility; CSR; emerging markets; frugal innovation; reverse innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2018.095545

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2018 Vol.17 No.3, pp.417 - 436

Received: 01 Apr 2017
Accepted: 26 Aug 2017

Published online: 28 Sep 2018 *

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