The paper "Core Corporate Responsibilities - Environmental Stewardship, Safe Working Conditions" is a good example of a business assignment. In the global business arena, businesses focus is trained on generating profits and sustainability. Although sustainability was not of concern, in the recent past it has gained currency, and organizations can no longer ignore it. Most organizations cannot conduct destructive or unethical business practices without attracting negative feedback. With the increased global information sharing and increased media attention, there is an increased demand from consumers, civil society, and governments for companies to engage in sustainable business practices (Scherer & Palazzo, 2007).
In order to retain customers and employees, many organizations have realized the need to carry out their businesses in an ethical manner, consequently, the adoption of the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained currency among many corporations as a way of giving back to society. Some examples of CSR are environmental stewardship, safe working conditions, and contribution to the community. “ Improving the lives of the billions of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid is a noble Endeavour.
It can also be a lucrative one. ” (Prahalad & Hammond, 2012). The bottom of the pyramid (BOP) concept was developed and popularized by Prahalad & Hammond (2002). The thought behind BOP posits that the way to help meet the needs of the world poor is by using a market-based approach. The authors argued that there are many benefits to the organizations that chose to deal with the underserved markets at the bottom of the pyramid. The poor also get significant benefits through poverty reduction, empowerment, and productivity. The World Resource institute 2007 report described the BOP market segment as encompassing the individuals with an annual income that oscillates between 0 and $ 3000.
According to Prahalad & Hammond (2002), individually, the people represent an insignificant commercial interest for enterprises, however, collectively; the people at the bottom of the pyramid present a considerable purchasing power. Thus, Prahalad & Hammond (2012) are of the opinion that being in the low-income group does not necessarily mean that these people do not earn an income, consequently, when addressed together, the low-income people present a great opportunity for investors.
The low-income segment is characterized by many unmet needs including no access to banking facilities, no basic services, and is dependent on greedy money lenders or shylocks. Essentially, the practice an informal economy. As consumers, they are neglected because they're a few products that are designed for them and when they access the products, the prices are prohibitive while the quality is poor. The argument for the BOP further claims that the multinationals organizations have not only undermined the people at the bottom of the economic order efforts of building their livelihood but have also ignored them altogether.
It means, therefore, that the poor marginalized people cannot access the benefits availed by globalization. They need active engagement and access to products that reflect global quality standards. Consequently, they have to be exposed to the various opportunities offered by globalization. According to the BOP approach, poor people represent what has been described as a latent market (Kozlowski, Bardecki & Searcey, 2012). It is, therefore, observed that an active engagement provided by private enterprise at the BOP level could create inclusive capitalism as the private sector competes for the market segment which in turn would foster attention to the low-income people as significant consumers with sizeable choices.
Thus, if the corporation could approach the low-income earner market segment with the poor interest it could lead to massive growth and significant profits. However, the benefits accruing to the multinationals can only be realized if they engage with the civil society organizations as well as the local authorities to create localized business models to uplift the lives of the poor.
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Karnani, A. (2007). The mirage of marketing to the bottom of the pyramid: How the private sector can help alleviate poverty, California Management Review, 49(4), pp. 90-111.
Kozlowski, A., Bardecki, M., & Searcey, C. (2012). Environmental impacts in the fashion industry: A life-cycle and stakeholder framework, Journal of Consumer Citizenship, 45, 17-36.
Prahalad, C. & Hammond, A. (2002). Serving the world's poor, profitably, Harvard Business Review, 80(9), pp. 48-57.
Scherer, A. & Palazzo, G. (2007). Toward a political conception of corporate responsibility: Business and society seen from a Habermasian perspective, Academy of Management Review, 32(4), pp. 1096-1126.
Smith, N. (2003). Corporate social responsibility: Whether or how? California Management Review, 45(4), pp. 52-76.
Utting, P. (2007). CSR and equality, Third World Quarterly, 28(4), pp. 697- 712.