Reviewing a Decade of Research on the 'Base/Bottom of the Pyramid' (BOP) Concept
University of Amsterdam Business School
Carlos R. Rufin
Babson College - Management Division
December 26, 2012
Business & Society, Forthcoming, doi 10.1177/0007650312474928
In 1998-1999, Prahalad and colleagues introduced the Base/Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) concept in an article and a working paper. This article’s goal is to answer the question: What has become of the concept over the decade following its first systematic exposition in 1999? To answer this question, the authors conducted a systematic review of articles on the BOP, identifying 104 articles published in journals or proceedings over a ten-year period (2000-2009). This count excludes books, chapters, and teaching cases. The review shows that the BOP concept evolved dramatically following Prahalad’s original call to multinational enterprises (MNEs). De-emphasizing the role of MNEs over time, published BOP articles portray a more complex picture, with wide variations in terms of BOP contexts, of BOP initiatives, and of impacts of the BOP approach. A simple framework for organizing the reviewed articles helps discuss findings, identify the gaps that still exist in the literature, and suggest directions for future research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Base of the Pyramid, Bottom of the Pyramid, poverty, development, multinational enterprises, BOP
JEL Classification: D21, F23, I31, I32, I39, L21, L31, L33, M1, M13, M14, O17, O19
Date posted: December 26, 2012 ; Last revised: January 3, 2013
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