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Base-of-the-Pyramid (BOP) orientation and firm performance: A strategy tripod view and evidence from China

Fengxia Zhu, Zelong Wei, Yongchuan Bao and Shaoming Zou

International Business Review, 2019, vol. 28, issue 6, -

Abstract: The Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) market in developing countries represents an enormous market opportunity. Serving the BOP segment, however, incurs significant risks and costs because BOP consumers are deprived of income and literacy. It remains unclear whether or not serving this market segment would benefit firm performance. Based on related literature, we propose a new construct – BOP orientation, and examine its impact on firm performance and an operating mechanism of such effect – the mediating role of bricolage innovation strategy that emphasizes recombination of existing resources to solve the unique problems faced by BOP consumers. Drawing on the strategy tripod view, we also investigate the contingency effects of both institutional and industry environments in an emerging economy. We collected survey data to test the conceptual framework from 238 firms in China, the world’s second largest BOP market. The results support a positive relationship between BOP orientation and firm performance and confirm that the performance impact of BOP orientation is channeled through bricolage innovation strategy. Further, we find that the effect of BOP orientation is contingent on both the institutional factors and the industry conditions. Specifically, government support strengthens while legal inefficiency weakens this effect; competitive intensity strengthens the effect, while technological uncertainty has no moderating role on this relationship. Contributions to extant literature and useful guidelines for firms of our research are discussed.

Keywords: Base of the Pyramid; Bricolage innovation strategy; Legal inefficiency; Firm performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2019.101594

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