The many facets of frugality: Insights from a quasi-comprehensive literature survey

Shekhar Jain*, Saradindu Bhaduri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Frugal innovation has become a popular research agenda in the field of Innovation studies. Frugality, however, has been part of the intellectual tradition for centuries and scholarly giants such as Cicero, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, David Hume have deliberated upon its meanings, nuances and applications. The present study using quantitative text mining approaches supplemented by qualitative methods aims at a detailed exposition of these deliberations to Gauge the complexity of the term, and its implications for the modern-day production and innovation processes. We used the Google' N-gram tool for qualitative text analysis. Subsequently, using the time series graph of N-gram we spot the relevant periods of the key narratives, and related documents, for a deeper scrutiny. This literature survey helps us recalibrate the concept of frugality, within innovation and technology discourse, to provide a philosophical underpinning, going beyond a strict criteria-oriented approach to define the concept of frugality. The study facilitates reimagining the process of innovation. Drifting away from the present (excessive) emphases on growth, mechanization and protocolization, a recalibrated concept of frugality nudges us to formulate a more human centered process of technological innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-278
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Scientometric Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

We are thankful to the anonymous reviewers of the journal
for their critical but constructive observations.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s). 2021 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


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