Inclusive Business at the Base of the Pyramid: A Multiple-case study of the Water and Sanitation and Energy Sectors

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi; Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Abstract: This thesis addresses the topic of inclusive business by analyzing and comparing the strategy adoption process led by top managers, the level of cocreation, and challenges of Swedish organizations operating in low-income contexts within the water and sanitation and energy sectors. Inclusive business is a novel concept built upon Prahalad and Hart’s (2002) proposition of doing business with the Base of the Pyramid (BOP), or people living under US$8 per day. This research is designed as a qualitative multiple-case study and aims to provide insight into the experience of organizations already engaged in inclusive business. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with top-level managers from ten different Swedish organizations that have incorporated or plan to incorporate inclusive business strategies in their operations. Findings show that managers drive the adoption of inclusive business strategies in similar ways regardless of the sector. In terms of level of cocreation, in the water and sanitation sector, it varies considerably and can be sought at different stages. In the energy sector, the cocreation level is particularly homogeneous. Finally, findings indicate that challenges are essentially similar between sectors, however, one difference was identified.

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