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School of Business and Management

Dr Yasser Bhatti


Teaching Fellow




Dr Yasser Bhatti focuses on the study of emerging models of innovation and strategies, which promote inclusive and sustainable growth in both the global South and North. Innovation transcends traditional disciplinary and sectoral boundaries and therefore, he merges an understanding of innovation concepts, mainly frugal, social and reverse innovations with strategy concepts, mainly cost leadership, business models, and scenario planning. For impact of scholarly work, he also works at the intersection of management and health, relying on mixed methods research.  

He is recognised as one of the leading experts on frugal innovation, an approach to problem-solving that espouses doing more with less for many more people and for greater social impact. In his recent book published by Cambridge University Press, he explores the phenomenon in resource-scarce and complex institutional contexts by studying social entrepreneurs working in the developing world. His findings shed light on how entrepreneurs and firms can pursue competitive strategies by innovating for humanity to improve lives for everyone, everywhere.

Yasser completed his PhD in Innovation and MSc in Entrepreneurship from University of Oxford's Said Business School with thesis topic: “Frugal innovation: Social entrepreneurs’ perceptions of innovation under institutional voids, resource scarcity and affordability constraints.” His MSc thesis at Oxford received best dissertation prize. He also has an MSc degree in Computer Science and PG certificate in Management of Technology both from Georgia-Tech with distinction and BSc in Mechanical Engineering with special distinction from the University of Oklahoma. Following five years of practice in the manufacturing industry (Met-Pro Corporation and IBM) and in the multilateral development sector at the United Nations, he pursued a renewed passion for teaching and research in academia to bridge the gap between the academic community and business world. 

He contributes to and speaks regularly at international forums on innovation. For instance, he provided expert feedback to Pakistan’s new Social Protection Ministry (called Ehsaas); he was invited for knowledge sharing by the Danish Ministry of Science and Technology; offered expert advice to the UK's Innovation think tank NESTA; and served on the scientific advisory board of the European Commission Project on Frugal Innovation. He was also invited to Google Headquarters in New York City to present to Chief Innovation Officers of healthcare organisations on how to scale frugal innovations.

He is a (Honorary) Lecturer, Imperial College London and (Honorary) Associate Scholar, Said Business School, University of Oxford.



Yasser strives to align his teaching with the UN's Principles for Responsible Management Education, particularly with respect to Principle 1 whereby frugal innovation aims to create “sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy”, as well as Principle 4 whereby his research helps to evaluate “impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value”.

Yasser designed and leads one of SBM’s most popular elective modules -- ‘BUSM146 Social and Sustainable Innovation’, the content of which exemplifies how his research-led teaching delivers on the ethos and values of Queen Mary University for inclusive growth and for social justice. Yasser has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in strategy, innovation and general management since 2005. He is Fellow of Higher Education Academy and is a Certified Business and Management Educator.  

As an example of his innovative teaching methods, in ‘BUSM086 Strategic Management’ he introduced a team building activity to teach the Resource-based View (RBV) through Meccano car-racing kits. The lesson imparted through this hands-on exercise was that even if everyone starts with the same resources, the way one team or another puts those resources together determines which capabilities helps to have a winning strategy.

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Research Interests:

Yasser Bhatti studies emerging models of innovation and strategies that promote inclusive and sustainable growth. He is a critical realist whose research and teaching are both inspired by the Tavistock Institute’s notion of ‘engaged scholarship’, which proposes collaborative research between practitioners and academics to solve complex real-world problems but also to produce learning that is more useful to individuals and their organizations. His work is interdisciplinary, team-based, and spans different universities and indeed sectoral and geographical boundaries. As a social scientist over the last decade and as a practicing engineer for a decade prior to that, he has espoused harnessing innovation and technology for social impact.

Using qualitative interviews and cases as well as quantitative surveys, most of his empirical work has been done on social entrepreneurs and in healthcare sector but also on multinational organisations in various sectors. He has been involved in grants amounting to £580K as Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Co-organizer, and Research Lead from organisations including National Institute for Health Research, Commonwealth Fund, Said Foundation, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford Software Incubator, Green Templeton College, Research and Management Development Association, and AT&T Foundation.

Yasser’s research has accelerated the adoption and diffusion of specific innovations. Given the dire need for providing affordable access to basic human rights such as education, healthcare, housing, and transport, there is much potential for frugal innovation to have practical impact on society. His ongoing global search for frugal innovation case studies has resulted in a useful repository for not only researchers, but also leaders, policymakers, and investors to consider for scaling up. He is frequently called upon by innovation organisations, the media, think tanks, and consulting firms to suggest innovations that solve specific issues of local and global importance, such as primary care and sanitation.

Please get in touch if interested for supervision at QMUL in areas of his research interest.

Centre and Group Membership:



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Sample online newspaper articles about his research




Book chapters

  • Bhatti, Y. & Prabhu, J. 2019. Frugal Innovation and Social Innovation: Linked Paths to Achieving Inclusion Sustainably, In Handbook of Inclusive Innovation: The Role of Organizations, Markets and Communities in Social Innovation. Edited by Gerry George, Ted Baker, Paul Tracey and Havovi Joshi: Edward Elgar: 354-376. Available at:
  • Prime, M., Bhatti, Y., & Harris, M. 2017. Frugal and reverse innovation in surgery. In Global Surgery: The Essentials. Edited by Adrian Park and Ray Price: Springer: 193-206. Available at:
  • Bhatti,Y. Khilji, S. & Basu, R. 2013. Frugal Innovation. In Globalization, Change and Learning in South Asia. Edited by Khilji, Shaista & Rowley, Chris. UK: Chandos Publishing: 123-145. Available at:


Refereed papers

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