Managing Base of the Pyramid as a Business Opportunity: A Longitudinal Field Study

With Thomas André, May 2015

Abstract:
In the last decade a growing articulation of the business strategy of the firms with some specific global societal challenge in line with its core activities has been observed. This change provides both a need and an opportunity for Base of the Pyramid (BoP) activities to migrate from their preserved status within the Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) department to business operations. We explore the successive steps associated with this change at Schneider Electric through a longitudinal case study. The newly adopted business strategy of the firm clearly facilitates the change in the mindsets all through the company. Still the need for adapting the management systems remains pending. A key finding that emerges from our analysis is to instill interactive processes through an organizational change and a strong commitment on the commercial purpose of the BoP activities. We also highlight that BoP activities cannot be directly transferred to operational entities without simultaneously identifying which of the functional department will be in charge of providing the corresponding management systems and support such longer-term investments.

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