Every week a business school professor, an expert in his or her field, defines a key term on FT Lexicon, our online economics, business and finance glossary.
Our professor this week
Ingo Bobel is professor of managerial economics and business strategy at the International University of Monaco (IUM). He has been an affiliate teaching faculty member for the microeconomics of competitiveness programme at Harvard Business School since 2007. He has also served as a visiting professor of economics at SCQM Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (Xuhui Campus), China.
Prof Bobel obtained a doctorate in political science and a further “habilitation” doctorate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. He is a founding member of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) and the Schumpeter Society (Joseph Schumpeter was the Austrian economist known as the prophet of innovation).
In 1978 Prof Bobel was granted the Leverhulme European Research Fellowship donated by the Leverhulme Trust (UK) which led him to work as a research fellow in the department of economics at Newcastle University. In 1980 he became a visiting associate professor of economics and in 1983 an associate professor of economics at Rutgers Business School.
Prof Bobel has lectured extensively on managerial economics in various parts of the world, including Germany, Monaco, UK, US, China and Taiwan. His academic work comprises seven books and numerous refereed articles. He has been published in the Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Economic Literature, Management and Decision Economics and Kyklos, among others and his work is referenced in many further publications.
Prof Bobel’s work looks at industrial organisation research with a focus on exploring an updated market structure, conduct and performance paradigm approach. His more recent research focuses on a relatively new business concept called ”creating shared value”.
Prof Bobel has chosen to define the term jugaad innovation.
Why Prof Bobel believes it is important to understand jugaad innovation
“Jugaad innovation, or frugal, or improvised innovation, is a real eye-opener – not only for those living at the bottom of the pyramid in the developing world but also for firms operating both in a resource-constrained environment and in fast-expanding markets,” says Prof Bobel, adding that companies are increasingly being forced to rethink their business models and provide solutions beyond pure cost-effectiveness and competitive advantage.
Companies need to find new ways to create value by offering affordable goods and services with limited resources and they need to learn to adapt faster, says Prof Bobel.
All these things make a good jugaad innovator, according to Prof Bobel.
To learn more about jugaad innovation, click on any of the hyperlinked terms.