Hafiza Sultana

Thesis title:

Understanding the Role of Ecosystems in Frugal Innovation through a Gender and Social Network Lens


The objective of this research is to analyze frugal innovation ecosystems across the gender divide.

In the first phase of the project (MRes), secondary literature on frugal innovation and social entrepreneurship will be systemically reviewed to select six to eight cases from a wide range of enterprises. An equal number of cases for females and males will be drawn with an exploratory case study analysis.

In the second phase (PhD), a purposive sample of 60-80 (female and male) participants from South Asia will be drawn from the Global Social Benefit Institute’s alumni. In-depth interviews, face-to-face or online, will be arranged with the founders or key decision-makers. In addition, varied sources of evidence (e.g., organizations’ records and public archives) will be incorporated for triangulation. The textual materials will be examined with thematic content analysis. Through social network analysis, the actors and their interactions will be mapped out to ascertain which actors and institutions in the ecosystem are crucial, and if female and male networks differ.

The estimated time of this project is four years, including six-week fieldwork in three countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. By developing a theoretical model that captures the role of ecosystems in frugal innovation processes, the study expects to offer significant academic and practical implications.

First supervisor:

Yasser Bhatti


5-Work, Organisations & Business Management









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