Being Innovator or Imovator: Current Dilemma?

Veronica Scuotto, Sunil Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Currently high competitive environment of emerging markets is characterized by a new typology of firm. Such new kind of firm has been defined second mover or ‘imovator’. An imovator combines aspects of both imitation and innovation strategies (Shenkar 2010). It exploits the external resources and capabilities of its own network system in order to improve business performance and increase technological capabilities. It takes inspiration from successful innovative products in order to create a similar product but with technical improvements and lower production costs. In the current management literature there are different points of view regards to the competitive advantage to be innovator or imitator: some scholars argue that being innovator is advantageous to companies in order to dominate new market and to acquire a wide range of consumers whereas others point out that it is more efficient and successful to follow the first comer. However none has been studied how the combination between innovation and imitation may affect firms’ performance through adpting knowledge exploitation approach and creating relationship with firms’ Innovation Network System. So in order to address this gap, the paper analyses two case studies, that is Lenovo from China and from India.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2015


  • Innovation
  • Imitation
  • emerging markets
  • case study


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