Indian organizations have acquired a reputation for organizational and social innovation and strategies centered round new concepts of frugal innovation. It has been suggested that some of these developments reflect specific socio-economic and framework conditions peculiar to the Indian context. At the same time many Indian firms have yet to institute systems and procedures required for supporting technological, product and service innovations. The existence of formal R&D departments/divisions, offers a ritualistic fig leaf for innovation practice. The absence of organizational support and a holistic innovation strategy coupled with an integrative perspective obscures or limits the development of a proactive innovation strategy. The paradox of Indian innovation suggests that the necessity of developing and managing the abundant supply of human resources in the country is central to its conceptualization and realization. These innovations get manifested mainly in two different patterns, one of which relates to the management of human resources within organizations, and the other to the creation of social enterprises for the development of human resources outside; the latter may also take the form of CSR initiatives by corporate organizations.
One of the implications of the ‘abundant supply of human resources in the country’ is that Indian organizations have to adopt people-focused business strategies rather than the command structures cantered round the use, performance and incentivisation of human resources. This issue probably makes India different from Western countries and there is a big opportunity both for comparative research and best practice exchange. A second interesting implication of the above is that over the years there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of social enterprises in India, which are different from commercial enterprises in having ‘social development’ (rather than ‘profit-making’) as their main objective. For this...
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