Conceptualizing the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Hope-Criticism Dichotomy From an Entrepreneurial Perspective

Cleber Da Costa Figueiredo, Ed


C.K. Prahalad proposed that multinational corporations (MNCs) can successfully do business at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ by adapting their product and service offerings, changing the lives of poor people, and ultimately transforming entire societies by sparking local entrepreneurship. While this notion has both followers and adversaries, we still lack conclusive evidence for or against it. In the view of the authors, this is mainly owing to the lack of a conceptual model explicitly based on Prahalad’s work that permits proper scientific research and goes beyond the numerous case studies that prohibit any generalizable deductions. By applying a systematic literature review process, we identify and summarize relevant, peer-reviewed, academic literature, leading to a conceptual model, as a basis for a call for further advanced research.

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