Patricia Marquez
Ateneo de Manila University
The idea that business can play a role in alleviating poverty has caught the imagination of academics and practitioners alike. An emerging consensus points to the critical importance of partnerships in market initiatives addressed to the base of the pyramid (BOP). But despite the calls for cross sector partnerships in BOP initiatives, our collective understanding of how these actually work has not advanced proportionally. This study attempts to address this issue by examining the dynamics at play in nine networks that integrated the BOP with mainstream markets in nine developing nations. The paper is structured in three broad issue-areas: alliance formation (drivers that compelled companies to engage in strategic partnerships); alliance implementation (choice of governance mechanisms, resources for enhancing trust and reciprocity between partners, and conflict-resolution mechanisms); and performance outcome (the extent to which an organization's commitment to an alliance impacted its performance and its societal context).
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