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Title: BOP, Bottom of the Pyramid
Authors: Molderez, Ingrid
Issue Date: 25-Sep-2007
Conference: CEDON-seminarie location:Brussel date:25/09/2007
Abstract: The idea of BOP, ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’, seems rapidly on its way to become the latest business fad (cf. Greener Management International, 2007; Kauri Seminar, 2007; Prahalad, 2006; Hart, 2005). From its origin in the United States, it is spreading over Europe. Most or all business fads tend to fade away after having had its (more or less) glorious moments. Fads should be treated with great intellectual care and caution, as they often become fallacies, gimmicks, delusion of the day (Lefebvre, 2004). Prahalad and Hart’s (2002) BOP could be read as a fair way of doing business with the poor. Or as trade only; even commerce, pure and simple. BOP is being promoted as an instrument for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Yet BOP may be seen from certain quarters as illustration of the long-standing American financial-commercial imperialism. It may therefore be difficult to apply to (Western) Europe. A European conceptualisation of BOP would be required. The paper is rather reflective and will build on historical examples like cooperatives. Indeed, the only way the poor have ever been helped in the history of mankind, is by the poor themselves helping each other. The cooperative movement in early industrialising North-West England stressed self-help, democracy, equality, equity, solidarity, (social) responsibility, caring for others. The way these cooperatives were managed will guide our concepts of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. The former takes from the other while the latter is with the other. Question remains whether BOP will be taken up by an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: AMa
Appears in Collections:Research Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability, Campus Brussels
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) - miscellaneous

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