Business in the Base of the Pyramid: A Literature Review and Directions for Future Research
Articles
José Satsumi López-Morales
National Technological Institute of Mexico / Technological Institute of Veracruz
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5269-3871
Felipe de Jesús Rosario-Flores
National Technological Institute of Mexico / Technological Institute of Veracruz
Antonio Huerta-Estevez
National Technological Institute of Mexico / Technological Institute of Veracruz
Published 2020-12-30
https://doi.org/10.15388/omee.2020.11.36
PDF
HTML

Keywords

Base of the pyramid
Bottom of the pyramid
Literature Review
Poverty Alleviation

How to Cite

López-Morales J. S., Rosario-Flores F. de J. and Huerta-Estevez A. (2020) “Business in the Base of the Pyramid: A Literature Review and Directions for Future Research”, Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, 11(2), pp. 327-347. doi: 10.15388/omee.2020.11.36.

Abstract

The base of the pyramid (BoP) is the lower-income segment of the population. It represents an important market that is often disregarded by companies as a source of economic benefit. For this reason, scholars have gained interest in this topic since the early 21st century. The main objective of this article is to identify research areas related to business in the BoP. A qualitative investigation was carried out by reviewing the business literature on the BoP. Sixty-seven articles related to the topic were reviewed. This literature review was conducted using the four-stage qualitative method, including : (1) data collection; (2) data coding; (3) data analysis; and (4) interpretation of results. The result of the review was the identification of 12 gaps that must be addressed to improve the understanding of the BoP businesses. A description of the articles selected for the review is presented.

PDF
HTML

References

Acheampong, G. & Esposito, M. (2014). The nature of entrepreneurship in bottom of the pyramid markets, International, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 21, 4, 433-455.
Acosta, P., Kim, N., Melzer, I., & Thelen, N. (2009). Business and human development in the base of the pyramid: Exploring challenges and opportunities with market heat maps , Economic Management, 1 , 35.
Agarwal, N., Chakrabarti, R., Brem, A., & Bocken, N. (2018). Market driving at bottom of the pyramid (BoP): An analysis of social enterprises from the healthcare sector. Journal of Business Research, 86, 234–244.
Agnihotri, A. (2013). Doing good and doing business and the bottom of the pyramid, Business Horizons, 56, 591- 599.
Angeli, F., Ishwardat, S. T., Jaiswal, A. K. & Capaldo, A. (2018) . Socio- cultural suistainability of private healthcare providers in an Indian slum setting: A-bottom- of- the- pyramid- perspective, Sustainability, 10, 4702.
Angeli, F., & Jaiswal, A. K. (2016). Business Model Innovation for Inclusive Health Care Delivery at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Organization & Environment , 29,4 , 486–507 .
Ansari, S., Munir, K. & Gregg, T. (2012). Impact at the bottom of the pyramid: The role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment, Journal of Management Studies, 49, 4, 813-842.
Arino, A., LeBaron, C., & Miliken, F. (2016). Publishing qualitative research in Academy of Management Discoveries. Academy of Management Discoveries, 2(2), 109- 113.
Arnold, D.G, & Valentin, A. (2012). Corporate social responsibility at the base of pyramid , Journal of Business Research, 66, 10, 1904- 1914.
Ausrød, V.L., (2018) It takes two to tango: mobilizing strategic, ordinary, and weak resources at the base of the pyramid, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 26, 8, 665-687,
Barky, E. & Parente, J. (2010). Consumer behaivour of the base of the pyramid market market in Brazil, Greener Management International, 56, 11.23.
Battisti, E., Migilietta, N., Salvi, A. & Creta, F. (2019). Strategic approaches to value investing: a systematic literatura review of international studies, Review of International Business & Strategy, DOI 10.1108/RIBS-01-2019-0011
Bendul, J.C., Rosca, E. & Pivovarova, D. (2017). Suistainable supply chain models for base of the pyramid, Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 107-120.
Brix- Asala, C., Hahn, R., & Seuring, S. (2016). Reverse logistics and informal valorisation at the base of the pyramid: A case study on sustainability synergies and trade-offs. European Management Journal, 34, 414–423.
Callahan, J.L. (2014). Writing literature reviews: a reprise and update. Human Resource Development Review, 13, 271–275.
Cañeque, F. C. & Hart, S. (2015). Base of the pyramid 3.0: sustainable development through innovation and entrepreneurship. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.
Casanova, L. & Dumas, A. (2010). Corporate social responsibility and Latin American mutlinationals: Is poverty a business issue?, Universia Bussiness Review, 134- 145.
Cervilla, M.A. & Puente R. (2013). Modelos de negocio de emprendimientos por y para la base de la pirámide, Revista de Ciencias Sociales (RCS), XIX, 289 - 308.
Chickweche, T. & Fletcher, R. (2012). Undertaking research at the bottom of the pyramid using qualitative methods, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 15, 3, 242- 267.

Contreras- Velásquez, J.C., Wilches- Durán, S.Y., Delgado- Rangel, M. & Cerda-Carrasco, M.R. (2016). Mercado base de la pirámide urbano y rural en Norte de Santander, Colombia, Revista Venezolana de Gerencia, 21, 76, 709- 731.

De Angoita R. & Ramirez, R. (2009). Strategic Use of Mobile Telephony at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of Mexico. Information Technologies and International Development, 5, 3, 35- 53.
Dembek, K., Sivasubramaniam, N. & Chmielewski, D.A. (2019). A systematic review of the bottom/ base of the pyramid literature: Cumultative evidence and future directions, Journal of Business Ethics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04105-y
Desa, G. & Koch, J.L. (2014). Scaling Social Impact: Building Sustainable Social Ventures at the Base-of-the-Pyramid, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 5, 2, 146-174.
Dey, B. L., Pandit, A., Saren, M., Bhowmick, S., & Woodruffe-Burton, H. (2016). Co- creation of value at the bottom of the pyramid: Analysing Bangladeshi farmers´use of mobile telephony. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 29, 40–48.
Dey, B.L., Binsardi, B., Prendergast, R. & Saren, M. (2013). A qualitative enquire into the appropiation of mobile telephony at the bottom of the pyramid, International Marketing Review, 30, 4, 297- 322.
Dolan, C., Johnstone-Louis, M. & Scott, L. (2012) Shampoo, saris and SIM cards: seeking entrepreneurial futures at the bottom of the pyramid, Gender & Development, 20,1, 33-47.
Esposito, M., Kapoor, A. & Goyal, S. (2012). Enabling healthcare services for the rural and semi-urban segments in India: When shared values meets the bottom of the pyramid, Corporate Governance, 12, 4, 514- 533.

Faulconbridge, J. R. (2013). Sittuated bottom of the pyramid markets and the multinational corporation, Marketing Theory, 13, 3, 393- 396.

Fawcett, S. & Waller, M. (2015). Designing the Supply Chain for Success at the Bottom of the Pyramid , Journal of Business Logistics, 36, 3, 233–239.
Filardi. F., DelaRissa Barros, F., & Fischmann , A. . (2018). Bussines strategies for the bottom of the pyramid: multiple case studies of large companies in the pacified communities of Rio de Janeiro. RAUPS Management Journal, Vol. 53, pp.63-73.
Finchelstein, D. (2017). The role of state in the internationalization of Latin America , Journal of World Business, 52 ,4, 578-590.
Gardetti, M. (2005). A base-of-the-pyramid approach in Argentina: Preliminary findings from a BoP learning lab. Greener Management International, 51, 65–77.
Gaur, A. S., & Kumar, M. 2018. A systematic approach to conducting review studies: An assessment of content analysis in 25 years of IB research. Journal of World Business, forthcoming
Gaur, A. & Kumar, M. (2018). A systematic approach to conducting review studies: an assessment of content analysis in 25 years of IB research, Journal of World Business, 53, 2, 280-289.

Gebauer, H., Haldimann, M. & Saul, C.J. (2017) Business model innovations for overcoming barriers in the base-of-the-pyramid market, Industry and Innovation, 24, 5, 543-568.
Gebauer, H. & Reynoso, J. (2013). An agenda for service research at the base of the pyramid, Journal of Service Management, 24, 5, 482- 501.
Guesalaga, R. & Marshall, P. (2008). Purchasing power at the bottom of the pyramid: differences across geographic regions and income tiers, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25, 7, 413-418.
Gordon, M. D. (2008). Management education and the base of the pyramid, Journal of Management Education, 32, 6, 767- 781.
Goyal, S., Sergi, B., & Kapoor, A. (2014). Understanding the key characteristics of an embedded business model for the base of the pyramid markets, Economics & Sociology, 7, 26, 40.
Gupta, S. & Srivastav, P. (2016) An exploratory investigation of aspirational consumption at the bottom of the pyramid, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 28,1, 2-15.
Halme, M., Kourula, A., Lindeman, S., Kallio, G., Lima- Toivannen, M., & Korsunova, A. (2016). Sustainability innovation at the base of the pyramid through multi- sited rapid ethnography. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 21, 113–128.
Halme,M., Lindeman, S. & Linna, P. (2012). Innovation for inclusive business: Intrapreneurial bricolaje in multinational corporations, Journal of Management Studies, 49, 4, 743-782.
Karnanai, A. (2007). The mirage of marketing to the bottom of the pyramid: How the private sector can help alleviate the poverty. California Management Review, 49, 4.
Hasan, R., Liu, R., Kitchen, P. J., & Rahman, M. (2019). Explorer consumer mobile payment adoption in the bottom of the pyramid context: A qualitative study. Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance, 28(5), 345-353.
Hasan, R., Lowe, B., & Rahman, M. (2017). Visual cues and innovation adoption among bottom of the pyramid consumers. Qualitative Market Research, 20(2), 147–157.
Ickis, J. C., Leguizamón, F.A., Metzger, M. & Flores, J. (2009). La agroindustria: campo fértil para los negocios inclusivos. Academia. Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, (43), undefined-undefined. [fecha de Consulta 5 de Noviembre de 2019]. ISSN: 1012-8255. Retrieved from: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=716/71612112007
Ilahiane, H. & Sherry, J.W. (2012) . The problematics of the “bottom of the pyramid” approach to international development: The case of micro- entrepreneurs´ use of mobile phones in Morocco, Information Technologies & International Development, 8, 1, 13- 26.
Jaiswal, A. (2008). The Fortune at the Bottom or the Middle of the Pyramid?. Innovations Technology Governance Globalization, 3, 1, 85-100.
Jebarajakirthy,C., Thaichon, T. & Yoganathan, D. (2016) Enhancing corporate social responsibility through market orientation practices in bottom of pyramid markets: with special reference to microcredit institutions, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 24, 5, 398-417.
Jun,S., Lee, D. & Park, J. (2013). Determining business models in bottom-of-the-pyramid markets , Industrial Management & Data Systems , 113, 7, 1064-1082 .
Karnani, A. (2005). Misfortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Greener Management International, 51, 99- 110.
Khare, A. & Varman, R. (2016) Kafkaesque institutions at the base of the pyramid, Journal of Marketing Management, 32, 17-18, 1619-1646.
Kolk, A., M., Rivera- Santos, & Rufin, C. (2014). Reviewing a decade of research on the “Base/ Bottom of the pyramid” concept, Business & Society, 53, 3, 338- 377.
Lashites , A.A., Bals, L. & Van Tulder, R. (2018). Inclusive business at the base of the pyramid: The role of the embeddedness for enabling social innovations, Journal of Business Ethics, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-018-3995-y
López-Morales, J.S. & Ortega-Ridaura, I. (2017). Internationalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and poverty alleviation: The case of FEMSA in Latin America, In: Examining the private sector´s role in wealth creation and poverty reduction, Editor: Scott Hipsher.
London, T., Anupindi, R. & Sheth, S. (2010). Creating mutual value: Lessons learned for ventures serving base of the pyramid producers, Journal of Business Research, 63, 582- 594.
Lehikoinen, L.E., Lundh, A., Meert, L., Waeingnie 4, K., Bentsen, N. & Norbye, I.E. (2018). Innovation and creativity at the bottom of the pyramid, International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research, 11, 13-25,
Mahajan, V. & Banga, K. (2006). The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the 21st Century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Majumder, M. (2012). A Critical Approach in Understanding Bottom of the Pyramid Propositions , Journal of Management & Public Policy, 3, 2, 18-25.
Martin,K. & Hill, R. (2012). Life Satisfaction, Self-Determination, and Consumption Adequacy at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Journal of Consumer Research, 38, 15.
Meira- Oliveira, G. & Carvalho- Machado, A.G. (2017). Dynamic innovation in services for consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, Brazilian Business Review, 14, 6, 609- 623.
Mohmand, Y. Y., Wang, A. & Saeed, A. (2016). The impact of transportation infraestructura on economic growth: empirical evidence from Pakistan, Transportation Letters, 9, 2, 63- 69.
Montalvo- Corzo, R. F. (2016). What to do with my credit? Debt consumption Vs. Debt- investment evidence from the bottom of the pyramid. e-Gnosis, 14(3), 1–9.
Montoya- Bayardo, M.A.,Cervantes- Zepeda, M. & Lemus- Delgado, M. (2018). De la innovación frugal a la innovación inversa: el cado del modelo farmacia- doctor en el sector salud en México, Intersticios Sociales, 15, 19, 117- 140.
Mutis, J. & Ricart, J. E. (2008). Innovación en modelos de negocio: La Base de la Pirámide como campo de experimentación, Universia Business Review, 18, 10- 27.
Onsongo, E. (2019) Institutional entrepreneurship and social innovation at the base of the pyramid: the case of M-Pesa in Kenya, Industry and Innovation, 26:4, 369-390, DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2017.1409104
Otero, M. & Giraldo, W. (2017). Consumo de productos infantiles en la base de la pirámide poblacional: análisis de los mecanismos influyentes. Económicas CUC, 38, 1, 165-184.
Palomares, I., Layrisse, F., Barnett, M.L., and Husted, B.W. (2018). Built to scale? How sustainable business models can better serve the base of the pyramid. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 4506-4513.
Peredo, A., Montgomery, M. & McLean, N. (2018). The BoP business paradigm: what it promotes and what it conceals, Oxford Development Studies, 46, 3, 411- 429.
Petrescu, M., & Bhatli, D. (2013). Consumer Behavior in Flea Markets and Marketing to the Bottom of the Pyramid, Journal of Management Research , 13, 55-63.
Prahalad, C.K. (2012). Bottom of the pyramid as a source of breakthrough innovations, The journal of product innovation management, 6-12.
Prahalad, C. K. 2010. The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: Eradicating poverty through profits. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing.
Prahalad, C. K. (2004). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: Eradicating poverty through profits. New Jersey: Wharton School Publishing.
Quintero- Arango, L.A. (2015). El sector retail, los puntos de venta y el comportamiento de compra de los consumidores en la base de la pirámide en la comuna 10 de la ciudad de Medellín, Revista Ciencias Estratégicas, 23, 33, 109-118.
Reynoso, J., Valdes, A. & Cabrera, K. (2015). Breaking new ground: base of pyramid service research, The Services Industries Journal, 35, 13, 695- 709.
Rabino, A. (2015). The bottom of the pyramid: An integrative approach, International Journal of Emerging Markets, 10,1, 2-15.
Rahman, S.A., Amran, A., Ahmad, N.H. & Taghizadeh, S.K. (2015) . Supporting entrepreneurial business success at the base of the pyramid through entrepreneurial competences, Management Decisions, 53, 6, 1203-1223.
Rajagopal. (2009). Branding paradigm for the bottom of the pyramid markets, Measuring Business Excelence, 13,4, 58-68.
Randrianasolo, A. A. (2018). Organizational Legitimacy, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 30, 3, 206-218.
Schrader, C., Freimann, J., & Seuring,S. (2012). Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid, Business Strategy and the Environment , 21, 281–298 .
Schaefers, T., Moser, R., Narayanamurthy, G. (2018). Access- based services for the base of the pyramid, Journal of Service Research, 21, 4, 421- 437.
Schuster, T. & Holtbrügge, D. (2012). Market entry of multinational companies in markets at the bottom of the pyramid: A learning perspective, International Business Review, 21, 817-830.
Sesan, T. (2012). Corporate-Led Sustainalbe Development and Energy Poverty Alleviation at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of the Clean Cook in Nigeria, World Development , 45, 137–146.
Sharma, G. & Kumar- Jaiswal, A. K. (2018). Unsustainability of sustainability: Cognitive frames and tensions in bottom of the pyramid projects. Journal of Business Ethics, 148, 291–307.

Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines, Journal of Business Research, 104, 333-339.
Sutter, C. J., Kistruck, G. M., & Morris, S. M. (2014). Adaptations to knowledge templates in base of the pyramid markets: The role of social interaction. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(4), 303–320.
Tarafdar, M., Anekal, P. & Singh, R. (2012) Market development at the bottom of the pyramid: examining the role of information and communication technologies, Information Technology for Development, 18, 4, 311-331.
Tasavori, M., Ghauri, P., & Zaefarian, R. (2016). Entering the base of the pyramid market in India: A corporate social entrepreneurship perspective. International Marketing Review, 33(4), 555–579.
Tasavori, M., Zaefarian, R. & Ghauri, P.N. (2015) The creation view of opportunities at the base of the pyramid, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 27, 1-2, 106-126.
Tashman, P. & Marano, V. (2010). Dinamic capabilities and base of the pyramid business strategies, Journal of Business Ethics, 89, 495- 514.
Trevinyo-Rodríguez, R.N. & Chamiec-Case, L. (2012). Pursuing financial Inclusion of family firms at the base of the pyramid (BoP): The case of convenience stores and microenterprises in Nuevo León, Mexico, Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 25, 2, 231-248.
Vasallo, J. P., Prabhu, J. C., Banerjee, S., & Voola, R. (2019). The role of hybrid organizations in scaling social innovations in bottom-of-the-pyramid markets: Insights from microfinance in India. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 36(6), 744–763.
Wentzel, J. P., Diatha, K.S. & Yadavalli, V.S.S. (2016). An investigation into factors impacting financial exclusion at the bottom of the pyramid in South Africa, Development Southern Africa, 33, 2, 203-214.
Yurdakul, D., Atik , D., & Dholakia, N. (2013). Redefining the bottom of the pyramid from a marketing perspective, Marketing Theory , 17, 3 , 289–303 .
Zainudeen, A., Iqbal, T. & Samarajiva, R. (2010). Who´s got the pone? Gender and the use of the telephone at the bottom of the pyramid, News Media and Society, 12,4, 549-566.
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Please read the Copyright Notice in Journal Policy.