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Internationalisation of service firms through corporate social entrepreneurship and networking

Pervez Ghauri (Department of Management, King's College London, London, UK)
Misagh Tasavori (Essex Business School, University of Essex, Southend-on-Sea, UK)
Reza Zaefarian (Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 10 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how employing corporate social entrepreneurship and developing a network of relationships with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can support and contribute towards the internationalisation of service firms into the base of the pyramid (BOP) markets in emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts an exploratory approach employing qualitative multiple case studies. Three service firms that have targeted the BOP markets in India were studied. In total, 25 in-depth interviews were conducted with multinational corporations (MNCs) and their NGO partners. Data analysis was facilitated through pattern matching and systematic case comparison.

Findings

The findings reveal that, by engaging in social entrepreneurship, these MNCs have focused on the neglected needs of the BOP population, developed sustainable solutions and empowerment, and started with social value creation and postponed value capturing. The pursuit of corporate social entrepreneurship has paved the way for them to establish relationships with NGOs. While the MNCs have mainly had the technical knowledge and financial resources required, collaboration with NGOs have allowed them to learn about the BOP’s specific needs and benefit from the NGOs’ knowledge, human resources and good relationships in this market.

Originality/value

This research unravels how service firms can seize opportunities at the BOP. The authors build on social entrepreneurship theory and bring new insights to the field of international business. In addition, the authors broaden the network view and show how networking with social actors such as NGOs enables the mobilisation of resources, actors and activities in emerging markets.

Keywords

Citation

Ghauri, P., Tasavori, M. and Zaefarian, R. (2014), "Internationalisation of service firms through corporate social entrepreneurship and networking", International Marketing Review, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 576-600. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-09-2013-0196

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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