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Supply chain adaptations for the base-of-the-pyramid business: towards a theoretical model

Maryam Zomorrodi (School of Business IT and Logistics, College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Sajad Fayezi (Monash Business School, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Kwok Hung Lau (School of Business IT and Logistics, College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Adela McMurray (School of Management, College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 11 February 2019

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019

691

Abstract

Purpose

Research has not yet captured nor synthesized the supply chain (SC) adaptations exercised by various base of the pyramid (BoP) initiators for successful BoP business. This is a crucial shortcoming that the study has taken a step to address, with the aim of advancing theory in BoP supply chain management (SCM). The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on Carter et al.’s (2015) theory of the SC and use a multi-method approach combining systematic literature review and embedded case studies based on the secondary data.

Findings

The authors compare BoP SC adaptations of MNCs, local companies, NGOs, social enterprises and governments and develop propositions. The authors find that SC adaptations exercised by BoP initiators are influenced by their sense making of institutional and agency drivers at the BoP, and contingent on whether the poor are engaged as recipients or value co-creators.

Practical implications

The authors develop a multi-initiator understanding of SC adaptations for BoP business. This is useful for BoP initiators who struggle to leverage their BoP business as well as for those who are considering entering the BoP. The authors offer these entities insights for aligning strategy and developing capabilities for BoP markets.

Originality/value

The authors develop an original model of BoP initiator-based configurations of SC adaptations for BoP business. As such, the authors contribute toward advancing BoP SCM theory and practice by mapping substantive concepts and their relationships associated with BoP SC adaptations.

Keywords

Citation

Zomorrodi, M., Fayezi, S., Lau, K.H. and McMurray, A. (2019), "Supply chain adaptations for the base-of-the-pyramid business: towards a theoretical model", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 5, pp. 599-624. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-01-2018-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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