Economics at your fingertips  

Unsustainability of Sustainability: Cognitive Frames and Tensions in Bottom of the Pyramid Projects

Garima Sharma () and Anand Kumar Jaiswal ()
Additional contact information
Garima Sharma: University of New Mexico
Anand Kumar Jaiswal: Indian Institute of Management

Journal of Business Ethics, 2018, vol. 148, issue 2, No 5, 307 pages

Abstract: Abstract Existing research posits that decision makers use specific cognitive frames to manage tensions in sustainability. However, we know less about how the cognitive frames of individuals at different levels in organization interact and what these interactions imply for managing sustainability tensions, such as in Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) projects. To address this omission, we ask do organizational and project leaders differ in their understanding of tensions in a BOP project, and if so, how? We answer this question by drawing on a 5-year study of a BOP project of a global pharmaceutical company in India. In line with the existing research, we found three kinds of frames—paradoxical, business case, and business—held differently across organizational levels and over time. We also found that the shift in frames of both project and organizational leaders was mediated by the decision-making horizon. The initial divergence across organizational levels, seen in paradoxical and business frames, was mediated by long-term decision-making horizon. However, there was an eventual convergence toward business frames associated with the shift from long- to shorter-term decision-making horizons and one that led to the project’s closure. We contribute by proposing a dynamic model of cognitive frames in sustainability, where the research has either alluded to top-down or bottom-up understanding.

Keywords: Bottom of Pyramid; Paradox; Sustainability; Decision-making horizons (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/10551/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-017-3584-5

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Business Ethics is currently edited by Michelle Greenwood and R. Edward Freeman

More articles in Journal of Business Ethics from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2020-08-06
Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:148:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3584-5