University Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy Ravi Ramamurti and his co-author Vijay Govindarajan (VG), the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, were recently awarded the inaugural Strategic Management Society's (SMS) 2017 Global Strategy Journal (GSJ) Best Paper Award for their article, “Reverse innovation, emerging markets, and global strategy,” originally published in 2011.
The co-authors examine theoretical questions raised by “reverse innovation,” which is the case when innovations are adopted in poor countries before being adopted in rich countries. The GSJ article raised issues such as, “What kinds of innovation are emerging economies likely to spawn?” “Why would such innovations diffuse to rich countries?” “What competitive advantages do local and foreign firms enjoy in this process?” “How will it affect the global strategy and organization of established multinational enterprises?”
While Ramamurti and Govindarajan have known each other for more than 40 years, having overlapped in Harvard Business School's doctoral program, their research worlds did not come together until western multinationals became interested in emerging markets—a topic at the intersection of their individual interests.
“When we wrote the article, there was skepticism about the importance and value of reverse innovation,” said Ramamurti. “It's gratifying to see that the idea has legs and that we've been able to open up a new line of research.”
The award-winning article is the second-most cited article in GSJ—second to “What is really different about emerging market multinationals?” which was also authored by Ramamurti.
As the founder and director of Northeastern University's Center for Emerging Markets (CEM), which was established in 2007, Ramamurti continues to do impactful research on emerging markets. In 2013, he and Govindarajan co-authored an article on innovative Indian hospitals in the Harvard Business Review, and they are working on a book titled, “Reverse Innovation in Healthcare,” to be published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2018. Ravi was elected a fellow of the Academy of International Business in 2008.
Ramamurti and Govindarajan will be honored at the 37th SMS Annual Conference where they will receive the award and a $5,000 prize.