How frugal innovation shape global sustainable supply chains during the pandemic crisis: lessons from the COVID-19

Rameshwar Dubey, David James Bryde, Cyril Foropon, Manisha Tiwari, Angappa Gunasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose: The COVID-19 crisis has created enormous strain in global supply chains. The disruption has caused severe shortages of critical items, including personal protective equipment (e.g. face masks), ventilators and diagnostics. The failure of the industry to meet the sudden demand for these necessary items has caused a severe humanitarian crisis. These situations, resulting from the COVID-19, crisis have led to the informal growth of frugal innovation in sustainable global supply chains. This paper aims to provide a detailed overview of drivers of frugal-oriented sustainable global supply chains, following lessons acquired from emerging countries’ attempts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used a focused group approach to identify the drivers and this paper further validated them using existing literature published in international peer-reviewed journals and reports. The authors adopted total interpretive structural modeling (TISM) to analyze the complex relationships among identified drivers. Findings: The authors present a theoretical framework to explain how the drivers are interlinked. This paper has developed the framework through a synthesis of the TISM modeling and Matrice d’impacts croisés multiplication appliquée á un classment analysis. This paper observed that government financial support, policies and regulations, under the mediating effect of leadership and the moderating effect of national culture and international rules and regulations, has a significant effect on the adoption of emerging technology, volunteering initiatives and values and ethics. Further, emerging technology, volunteering initiative and values and ethics have a significant effect on supply chain talent and frugal engineering. These results provide some useful theoretical insights that may help in further investigating the role of frugal innovations in other contexts. Originality/value: The authors find that outcomes of the methodical contributions and the resulting managerial insights can be categorized into four levels. Industry and researchers alike can use the study to develop the decision-support systems guiding frugal-oriented sustainable global supply chains amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in recovering them thereafter. Suggestions for future research directions are offered and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-311
Number of pages17
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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