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Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 530; doi:10.3390/su8060530

Implications of Reverse Innovation for Socio-Economic Sustainability: A Case Study of Philips China

School of Management, Shanghai University, No. 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai 200444, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Minna Halme, Marko Keskinen and Olli Varis
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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The idea of reverse innovation, local innovation happening in emerging markets for the global market, has gained much academic and managerial attention in recent years. The purpose of this study is to understand how reverse innovation has successfully diffused into the product and market development strategies at Philips Inc., a prominent multinational company (MNC) of the modern era. Furthermore, the study presents the success achieved by these innovations at both the domestic and global levels, along with their implications regarding socio-economic sustainability in emerging markets. In order to investigate the research questions, a case study of Philips China was conducted involving three product innovations that were found to be suitable examples of reverse innovation. After the study of extant literature on the topic, drawing from research databases, newspaper articles, and company press releases, five semi-structuredinterviews were conducted with key managers and a market practitioner to gain sufficient understanding for this exploratory study. Subsequent case analysis concludes that these innovations are examples of reverse innovation representing a new paradigm change in innovation flow. This flow of innovation from emerging markets to developed markets as confirmed by Corsi’s framework could potentially disrupt developed markets as well as contribute to ensure healthy living conditions for the population living in developing countries. If so, this represents a sustainable socio-economic change in-line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.” This is relevant as Philips aspires to be a prominent private sector player in achieving the above-stated goal by defeating non-communicable disease and strengthening local healthcare systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: reverse innovation; Philips Inc.; socio-economic sustainability; emerging markets; China; frugal innovation; SDG reverse innovation; Philips Inc.; socio-economic sustainability; emerging markets; China; frugal innovation; SDG

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Shan, J.; Khan, M.A. Implications of Reverse Innovation for Socio-Economic Sustainability: A Case Study of Philips China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 530.

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