Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Second Advisor

Dr. Wayne Lord

Third Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnston

Abstract

Crafting Alliances Between A Mexican Agribusiness And The Base Of The Pyramid:

An Action Research Into Strategizing

By

Sergio Quinones-Romandia

May 2016

Committee Chair: Lars Mathiassen

Major Academic Unit: J. Mack Robinson College of Business

More than 4 billion people in the world face hunger every day. In addition to this imperative shortcoming, the world’s poor confront other side effects of poverty as well, including violence, forced mobility, lack of access to education and early death. In a globalized world where capitalism has become the prevailing economic ideology, alleviating poverty can no longer be the exclusive responsibility of governments, richer nations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Today, the private sector must also “take the torch” and contribute to easing the suffering of more than half the world’s population.

The Base of the Pyramid (BOP) strategy is an important opportunity for the world’s private sector to create new business opportunities while at the same time helping address and alleviate poverty. However, while the literature describes several study cases, we still have limited knowledge about the process through which managers engage in BOP strategizing. Against this backdrop, this dissertation provides a detailed account of how a Mexican agribusiness: Agroservicios Nacionales, SAPI de CV (ANSA) developed and implemented a BOP strategy to co-create value with its distributors and poor corn farmers.

Our Georgia State University (GSU) research team combined Dynamic Capability Theory (DCT) and Option-Driven Strategizing (ODS) and adopted action research to establish close collaboration among the firm’s top directors, a select group of its managers, designated local distributors, and our researcher team members. This dissertation presents a detailed account of the strategizing process, how AgroEstacion was conceived, how it was implemented, and the outcomes and experiences of the overall process. I also discuss the challenges our team faced, how they were resolved, and the opportunities that emerged from the strategizing process. Finally, I describe an Integrated Model that firms can use to strategize BOP opportunities in a way that benefits both their business and the surrounding society.

This dissertation also represents the challenges of utilizing DCT in a practical case, following the suggestions of several authors as Teece, Pisano, Shuen, Zollo, Winters and others, from major works of writing that encourage researchers to take this theory into a more aggregate system and apply it in a practical case.

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