The role of proximity in business model design:making business models work for those at the bottom of the pyramid

Mason, Katherine Jane and Chakrabarti, Ronika (2017) The role of proximity in business model design:making business models work for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Industrial Marketing Management, 61. pp. 67-80. ISSN 0019-8501

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This paper explores the role of proximity in designing business models that work for those at the BoP. BoP markets represent an extreme setting where actors struggle to access and organise limited resources and develop appropriate socio-economic-political practices. Drawing on Boschma’s (2005) concept of proximity, we analyse three historical cases of business at the BoP to uncover the spatial-temporal dimensions of business model design in practice. Findings suggest that 1) business model design practices iteratively structure connections with markets and open up new spaces for market activity. This means that business models are necessarily understood as plastic and continuously in-the-making; 2) by taking into account the stability and change of proximity dimensions and the dynamics between them as they relate to business activities, managers are better equipped to identity opportunities that create, shape and connect with markets; and 3) the spatial-temporal dynamic of the business model proximities framework reveals that some proximities strengthen others through time, with negative and positive consequences.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Industrial Marketing Management
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Industrial Marketing Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Industrial Marketing Management, 67, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.08.005
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Deposited On:
30 Aug 2016 08:20
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:43