PhD defence by Sanghamitra Chakravarty

A development lens to resource constrained innovation: Exploring frugality in medical device manufacturing in South Africa
PhD student
Sanghamitra Chakravarty
Friday 4 Nov 2022, 15:00 - 17:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
Aula B and livestream
International Institute of Social Studies
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Sanghamitra Chakravarty

On 4 November 2022 Sanghamitra Chakravarty will defend her PhD thesis looking at innovations and resource constraints in the healthcare sector

Within the backdrop of a scarcity of appropriate medical devices which is a global health concern, this research explores medical device manufacturing firms in South Africa – a middle-income country with a sophisticated industrial base and a legacy of biomedical research but also facing challenges of resource constraints. It takes a 'development lens' to resource-constrained innovation, bringing in dimensions of capabilities, technological change and direction of innovation which have received little attention in current dominant frugal innovation discourse. 

The overarching question guiding this research is: How does resource- constrained innovation influence the direction of technological change?

Chakravarty approaches this research question from the perspective of innovation for and under resource constraints by situating the developing country manufacturing SME at the centre of her analysis. She uses a micro-level analysis to understand the orientation of the firms and the conditions influencing this to investigate the problem.

This analysis is situated and contextualized at the meso-level within the technology innovation environment of the firm and the broader macro patterns of global innovation dynamics. This research finds that the relationship between resource-constrained innovation and development is not straightforward and the direction towards inclusion, while possible under certain conditions, is fragile.

Watch Sanghamitra's defence live

PhD defence Sanghamitra Chakravarty

PhD defence Sanghamitra Chakravarty

Doctoral Board


Professor Karin Arts

Doctoral dissertation supervisors

Professor Peter Knorringa, ISS
Professor Cees van Beers, Delft University of Technology
Dr Georgina Gomez, ISS

Full Doctoral Committee

Professor Judith Sutz, University of the Republic Uruguay
Dr Glenda Kruss, Human Sciences Research Council
Professor Erika Kraemer-Mbula, University of Johannesburg
Dr Henny Romijn, Eindhoven University of Technology
Professor Arjun Bedi, ISS
Dr Oane Visser, ISS

More information

The ceremony will begin promptly at 15.00 hrs in the Aula of the ISS, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague. The doors will be closed after the start of the Public Defence, but will be briefly opened after the candidate’s introduction to allow latecomers to enter.

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony.

Professors are invited to join the academic procession.

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