LIFTING THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID: WHEN SOCIOLOGY AND BIG BUSINESS UNITE

Open Access
Author:
Lewandowski, David Alan
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Marketing and Sociology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Johann Baumgartner, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jennifer Chang Coupland, Honors Advisor
  • Jeffery Todd Ulmer, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • sociology
  • marketing
  • big business
  • poverty
  • profits
  • innovation
  • education
  • integration
  • Base of the Pyramid
  • strategy
  • global
Abstract:
Poverty is an increasing global exigency that is witnessed all over the world in many areas or communities. These areas make up the Base of the Pyramid, or BoP, which includes more than half of the world’s population who live on less than $2 dollars per day. Reducing poverty around the world is a possibility when Big Business approaches the BoP with intentions of understanding, improving and changing the sociological makeup of the deprived communities. With appropriate investments by Big Business, a solution to poverty is possible. The main goals of an approach to eliminate poverty by Big Business are to make profits while increasing communities’ standard of living and living conditions. Because of the billions of people in the Base of the Pyramid who could become potential consumers, this is an opportunity for a company to generate a substantial return on their initial investment. It is necessary for a company to take a grass-roots approach to understanding poverty through a sociological lens with hopes of discovering the basis for a globally translatable solution. Two case studies will be analyzed showcasing a successful and unsuccessful attempt at lifting the Base of the Pyramid by two major global companies. The knowledge learned from these cases on top of the sociological background of a BoP community form the backbone of the Lewandowski Strategy to Conquer Poverty via Big Business. This strategy highlights four steps toward achieving the ultimate goal for Big Business: A translatable solution to poverty that will both increase return on investment while increasing communities’ standard of living all throughout the Base of the Pyramid.