Exploring how incremental innovation can be used to enhance growth in the Nigerian online grocery business

Ahmadu, Aminu (2021) Exploring how incremental innovation can be used to enhance growth in the Nigerian online grocery business. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

When it comes to businesses in the service industry, the goal of innovation is often geared towards growth and expansion by combining creativity with existing technology/inventions which is the norm in countries with low new invention drive. However, for online grocery businesses operating in Nigeria, creativity and ideas are often not matched with innovation and this in most cases results in uncoordinated and futile efforts, that give rise to ambiguity in innovation knowledge and application, which in turn rarely leads to appreciable growth in services. This thesis intends to explore innovation practices in online grocery businesses in Nigeria to see if innovation management was part of the online service culture, its use in online marketing and online placement of orders, and the form and type, if any, it took. Furthermore, specific infrastructural challenges impeding innovation usage were also investigated. The existing literature in related topics was extensively reviewed with conceptual and theoretical frameworks proposed which described the influences of innovation management in the business setting especially as it related to online services. Given the exploratory nature of the research, a qualitative approach was preferred and case study used for the research methodology. Data was collected from twenty-four respondents, broken down into three distinct groups, through interviews, with five online grocery businesses. Three of such businesses were located in Lagos and two were located in Abuja. These two locations represent the commercial and political nerve centres of Nigeria and thus, were perfect case studies for the research. The first group comprised of ICT professionals/experts who shed light on technological innovations available to online services in the grocery sub-sector. The second group were respondents from the online grocery businesses involved in ICT and marketing and should have sufficient knowledge on innovation management processes and applications. Since the field work occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and created restrictions on movement, majority of the data was collected using e-mail and online structured interviews with phone calls for follow up where necessary. The emergent view from this research indicates that there is near absence of innovation management in the online grocery business in Nigeria with an overreliance on creativity and ideas rather than any structured innovation sourcing, acquisition and development process to drive innovation, which leads to innovation ambiguity, which in turn has created problems with the application of innovations in the online services of online grocery businesses in Nigeria, especially in the online marketing and online order placement algorithms as he process and incremental innovations which are best suited for such businesses are undefined and random. This ambiguity leads to customer dissatisfaction as most customers are discouraged to use online grocery services. Furthermore, poor road networks and unstable power supply affect the extent to which online grocery businesses in Nigeria are willing to develop their online services using innovation as a growth medium. Lastly, poverty of wide strata of population, fraud concerns and low internet penetration, has further complicated the growth of online grocery businesses in Nigeria. The findings of the research closely considers some of the factors limiting the proper use of innovation to grow services of online grocery businesses in Nigeria and then recommends ways by which this can be tackled by addressing the key areas of innovation ambiguity, innovation application using process and incremental innovations to improve online marketing and online order placement services and mitigating infrastructural challenges to achieve growth. The findings of this research while specifically addressing the online grocery business in Nigeria, may be relevant to other similar internet-based businesses and or industries.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Innovation management, innovation application, incremental innovation, infrastructural challenges, customer perspectives, creativity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2021 10:43
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2021 09:20
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1735

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