Abstract The developments in the power electronics field have lead to an ever-increasing use of static switching devices to control the torque and speed of ac motors. Invariably, the output voltage and current waveforms of these devices contain numerous harmonics and these harmonics have detrimental effects on the motor performance in form of derating and torque pulsation, especially at low speed. The order and magnitude of these harmonics depend on the design as well as nature of load being supplied. The extensive research has been underway for a long time in order to assess the effects these harmonics have on induction motor performance, and to investigate the various issues related to the use of induction motor to improve the drive performance and reduce the losses. This paper, therefore, presents a comprehensive review of research and developments in the induction motor operation with non-sinusoidal supply waveforms since its inception. Attempts are made to highlight the current and future issues involved in the development of induction motor drive technology to impart good dynamic stability with improved performance. A list of 167 research publications on the subject is also appended for a quick reference.