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

Maryam Zomorrodi, Sajad Fayezi, Kwok Hung Lau, Adela McMurray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-624
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Base of the pyramid
  • BoP
  • Multimethod
  • Supply chain adaptations


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