A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Resolving the base of the pyramid inclusion paradox through supplier development

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details
Authors: Brix-Asala Carolin, Seuring Stefan, Sauer Philipp C., Zehendner Axel, Schilling Lara
Publisher: Wiley: 24 months
Publication year: 2021
Language: English
Related journal or series: Business Strategy and the Environment
ISSN: 0964-4733
eISSN: 1099-0836
JUFO level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication


Resulting from divergent business environments between actors, the
integration of the base of the pyramid (BoP) into formal supply chain
(SC) structures is often hampered by institutional voids, which can
result in the emergence of paradoxical situations. This paper analyzes
the potential of supplier development (SD) for addressing the BoP
inclusion paradox. The study develops a framework based on the
assumption that SD enables the development of capabilities and supplier
performance, which is especially relevant when operating in BoP
contexts. Seventy‐two semi‐structured interviews stemming from two case
studies of (a) a local dairy and (b) an international certified
pineapple SCs with BoP involvement provide empirical insights into the
theoretical framework. Paradox resolution strategies (temporal
separation, spatial separation, and synthesis) are related to (direct
and indirect) SD practices. The proposed framework and results show that
indirect SD can be used as temporal and spatial separation, but not as
synthesis strategy. Contrastingly, direct SD can be used as temporal
separation and synthesis. The BoP context needs direct SD to address two
sustainability goals simultaneously: the social dimension of BoP
inclusion and the economic dimension of formal and efficient SCs. This
research extends the discussion on paradoxes in sustainability
management to SCs, especially to BoP SCs. It is relevant to show that
BoP inclusion is neither a sole win‐win nor trade‐off scenario.
Resulting paradoxical situations can be addressed by SD, thereby moving
to sustainable supply chain management (SSCM).

Last updated on 2021-17-05 at 15:38