Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), SASE, Philadelphia, United States (2010)

Call Number:




The development of markets for the poorest populations (Bottom of the Pyramid - BOP), has become increasingly important for multinationals. Assuming that there is demand for very low price consumer products, and that the main problem is one of access to those products, the challenge for multinational companies (MNC) is to reconfigure the whole of the corporate process to reduce prices, and penetrate the most distant zones. This communication proposes to follow BOP theory towards companies actual exploration and strategic innovation. It seeks to examine the definitions of the BOP market through the way it describes the representation of the BOP consumer, the economic networks and the value chains. Based on an empirical research project in a MNC (specialising in electrical equipment) investigating a BOP Business, it investigates the technical and cultural work undertaken by managers to build the cognitive, normative and material framework of this ³market innovation². It shows the way in which their hypotheses are destabilised when they come into contact with real markets. It explores the paradoxical frontiers of consumption and aid to the poorest populations, and feeds the BOP strategy by opening it up towards a diversity of alternatives and possible configurations for product and service.


06Humanities and Social Sciences/SociologyConference papers

Research team: