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The Future of Reverse Innovation: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Evolut...

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LC 433 - 5 MetroTech Center Brooklyn, NY 11201

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The Future of Reverse Innovation: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Evolution of Global Innovation

Abstract:

Reverse innovation originally meant to denote products and services that were initially launched in developing country markets and subsequently introduced in advanced countries; in the meantime, this concept has been expanded to include also original innovation in those developing countries. This first part of this talk introduces a conceptual model of reverse innovation that anchors the phenomenon within the international business and innovation realms by incorporating the early stages of concept and product development into the geography of global innovation flows. The second part discusses implications of the expanded notion of reverse innovation for the theory of global innovation, with specific focus on a) the changing motivations for multinational firms to internationalize into developing country markets despite significant operational and – increasingly – strategic difficulties, and b) the organizational evolution of global R&D and innovation networks within these multinational firms as a consequence of their presence in local entrepreneurial ecosystems. These implications bear great significance for the management and organization of multinational companies, and for the balance of innovation between countries.

The research is based on the analysis of internationalization and innovation strategies of more than 500 multinational companies, and a database of product innovations that transcended international boundaries. The first part of this talk is based on a 2015 publication in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, while the second part is based on two papers in preparation for Research Policy and the Global Strategy Journal. Specific aspects of reverse innovation, e.g. operational challenges for multinational firms, have been published in Research Technology Management. I will conclude with an outlook on methodological challenges in the context of this research, and ongoing work on substantiating and validating reverse innovation through quantitatively exhaustive empirical research in selected case firms.

Bio:

Max von Zedtwitz is an expert in global innovation, R&D, product development, and corporate entrepreneurship, especially with respect to emerging markets such as China.

Max is a professor of innovation and international management at Kaunas University of Technology, and a visiting lecturer at universities in Europe and China. He runs the GLORAD Center for Global R&D and Innovation with offices in Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Heilbronn, Sao Paulo, Kaunas, and St. Gallen. He is a former Vice President with PRTM Management Consultants, where he was co-responsible for their global R&D practice and an overall lead for global product development and China innovation projects. Before joining PRTM, he was Managing Director of AsiaCompete Int’l, a business intelligence firm, and a professor at Tsinghua and Beijing University in China, Skoltech in Moscow, and IMD in Switzerland.

Max has led more than 60 consulting engagements in R&D, technology and innovation strategy, product development operations, global strategy, productivity improvements, product lifecycle management, organizational road-mapping and design, corporate incubation, start-up management, China business and corporate M&A. He has worked and lived in all major markets, including Europe, the U.S., China, Russia, Korea, and Japan, and with MNCs as well as SMEs and startups. The format of engagement is typically interventionist at a senior management level, accompanying corporate strategy making and execution.

Max is a frequent speaker and executive educator on global innovation and China. His most recent book is “Created in China”, published by Bloomsbury in 2016. Max has written 15 books and more than 70 scientific articles, winning prizes for academic excellence and practitioner orientation in journals such as JPIM and R&D Management. He also is on the editorial advisory board of nine journals, including the highly ranked Global Strategy Journal, Technovation, and R&D Management. He has been quoted in periodicals such as the Economist, China Daily and the New York Times. In 2009, he was recognized as one of the 50 most influential innovation scholars worldwide.

Max holds Ph.D. and MBA degrees from the University of St. Gallen, and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. He attended Harvard University as a post-doctoral fellow

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