Call for contributions on the topic of "The Base of the Pyramid in Latin America"
Greenleaf Publishing invites contributions for a special issue of Greener Management International (GMI) on the topic of “THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID IN LATIN AMERICA”, to be edited by Miguel Angel Gardetti, Center for Study of Corporate Sustainability, Argentina.
This special issue will focus on three interrelated themes concerning the the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America:
- The Base of the Pyramid (BoP) not only as a new market for products
and services, but also as a source for the co-creation of new
sustainable business ventures highlighting the role of local
- The role of technology and innovation in meeting the needs of BoP customers
- The concept of sustainability within BoP strategies; considering
the impact of economic growth and social pressures on our planet
Since the appearance of C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart’s working
paper “Strategies for the Bottom of the Pyramid: Creating Sustainable
Development” in 1999, we have come a long way in the conceptualisation
of BoP. With the objective of serving the needs of the 4 billion poor
at the base of the economic pyramid, real momentum for this agenda has
subsequently built up, with scores of companies, multilateral
institutions, NGOs and academics around the world now working actively
in this area.
In a successful BoP business strategy, incremental design changes and
cost cutbacks associated with these strategies have no place. Yet most
organisations will tend to assume very defensive stances that protect
and nurture that which has served them well in the past, even in the
face of change. That is to say, they react by increasing their commitment to existing products, processes and markets
and their actions therefore serve to maintain the status quo. However,
successful companies are often able to invest or partner in order to
achieve new competences and experience in new untapped markets. The
innovations required for the base of the pyramid are those that quickly
and suddenly eclipse current routines and knowledge – Schumpeter’s
Moreover, from a regulatory and policy viewpoint, if entering BoP
markets reaps positive rewards both in social development and value
creation for business, what would it take to turn preliminary
individual intiatives into a global movement – to build a reality that
maintains and drives sustainable development? While some projects can
be successfully expedited by individuals or corporations, others will
require collaboration, in concert with a broader set of stakeholders.
Latin America is a key area in the advancement of the BoP concept. This is evidenced by, among other things:
- The increased development of BoP Learning Labs in the region
- The number of business strategies focused on the BoP. For example, the first stage of the Mapping the BoP in Latin America,
conducted in late 2007 by the Inter-American Development Bank in
collaboration with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV),
identified 500 companies working at the BoP all over the region (with
the potential identification of an additional 500 in a second Mapping
- Increased academic research in recent years
- NGOs that promote “social entrepreneurs” have their own BoP programmes in place and encourage these entrepreneurs to implement BoP concepts through various projects
This special issue of Greener Management International
seeks to explore as many different dimensions of the topic as possible
(while focusing specifically on Latin America), broadly grouped into
the following themes:
- BoP and entrepreneurship (corporate and local)
- To what extent can entrepreneurship (corporate and local) support or drive BoP?
- What is the link between social entrepreneurship and BoP?
- What kind of “bottom-up” innovation might support BoP initiatives (and sustainable development)?
- What is the relationship between technological entrepreneurship and BoP?
- What should the role of the state be in the BoP?
- What is the message to and from policy-makers, governments, local and international funding agencies?
- What is the contribution of structural, policy-based or economic subsidies?
- Some studies show that domestic (local) companies are the main BoP
drivers. Is there a particular reason for that? And, along the same
line, why do SMEs sometimes become the drivers of the BoP strategies?
What are the institutional, strategic or managerial barriers for large
- What are the (social) individual and collective impacts of BoP strategies? What could be the most suitable measuring structures?
- Case studies are welcomed. Examples of both successful and
unsuccessful entrepreneurial ventures are sought, preferably drawn from
a variety of industries and geographical regions, and covering both
small and large firms. What are the lessons learned? How do failure
rates of BoP projects compare with those of other business start-ups?
- How can we balance poverty alleviation and stimulation of economic
growth without stressing the ecosystem? What is the policy support, and
how effective is it?
The above list is by no means restrictive, and contributions on other
relevant topics will also be considered. This project is an attempt to
develop a comprehensive understanding of this field, and as such
welcomes submissions based on a variety of approaches, be they
reflective, empirical, practical or applied theoretical work. Given the
intended practical nature of these publications, contributions from
practitioners in businesses, NGOs and government are very welcome.
Theoretical papers should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words and case
studies between 2,500 and 4,000 words in length. The paper submissions
should follow editorial guidelines, which can be obtained from the Greenleaf Publishing website.
Schedule for the themed issue
The submission deadline for initial expressions of interest in the form
of abstracts of approximately 300 words is 16 October 2009. Abstracts
should ideally be sent as email attachments to the Guest Editor for the
review process (see “Contact details” below).
A selection process will then be put into motion. Contributors whose
abstracts are felt appropriate for the themed issue will then be asked
to submit full papers by early February 2010. Contributors will be
informed of the acceptance of their contributions or be invited to
submit final revised papers by 5 April 2010. It is intended that the
special issue of Greener Management International will be published in June 2010.
- Call for contributions: 18 June 2009
- Abstract submissions: 16 October 2009
- The selection of papers (abstracts) and contacting selected authors is planned to take place between 13 and 20 November 2009
- Full paper submissions: 3 February 2010
- Revised paper submissions: 5 April 2010
All papers will be peer-reviewed by an international panel of BoP experts.
The editor and the publisher plan to make this issue available at the
sixth multi-sector activity of the Argentina BoP Learning Lab (Buenos
Aires, 23 June 2010 [to be confirmed]).
For further information,
to discuss ideas for contributions, and to submit
abstracts/manuscripts, please contact the Guest Editor:
Miguel Angel Gardetti
Center for Study of Corporate Sustainability, Head
Argentina Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab, Founder and Coordinator
Av. Córdoba 6502, 1er piso “B”
C1427BZS Buenos Aires
Tel and Fax: +54.11.4554.9482