The Hybridity of Inclusive Innovation Narratives Between Theory and Practice: A Framing Analysis

Felix Ouko Opola*, Laurens Klerkx, Cees Leeuwis, Catherine W. Kilelu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Inclusive innovation remains an under-conceptualised and ambiguous concept despite garnering political and academic interest in recent decades. This paper explores the narratives of inclusive innovation that exist in literature and how these are framed in practice, using a case study of the Kenyan agricultural sector. Findings indicate that while there is significant similarity between the theoretical and empirical framing of the concept, there are also stark differences. In addition, different actors such as the state, development agencies, the private sector or universities do not fully ascribe to any of the existing theoretical narratives on inclusive innovation. Instead, they frame it based on their own contexts, mandate and interests using concepts borrowed from existing theoretical narratives. This indicates that instead of a grand theory of inclusive innovation that applies universally, there are several ways of enacting inclusive innovation. This also limits the transferability of a one-size-fits-all model of inclusive innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-648
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bottom of the pyramid
  • Frugal innovation
  • Grassroots innovation
  • Inclusive business
  • Inclusive development
  • Inclusive innovation
  • Kenya
  • Social innovation


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