Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Loch

Third Advisor

Dr. Geoffrey Kistruck


Microfranchising has emerged as a potential strategy to rapidly scale up entrepreneurship within base of the pyramid (BOP) markets in order to contribute to poverty reduction and to increase economic growth. However, we know little about how such networks are designed and orchestrated in resource-scarce settings to co-create value with the different parties involved. To address this gap, we report a longitudinal case study of an emerging microfranchise network social enterprise, currently facilitated by CARE, a global humanitarian and development organization, to provide timely access to quality, affordable agricultural input and services for millions of small-scale poor farmers in Bangladesh. We draw on the orchestration of innovation network theory developed by Dhanaraj and Parkhe (2006) and the notion of network imprinting (Marquis and Tilcsik, 2013) to analyze the emerging microfranchise network in Bangladesh. As a result, we offer two types of contributions to theory and to practice. First, we offer a detailed account of how these theories are relevant and applicable to analyze and explain the emergence of microfranchise networks, and we present two key propositions to generalize to theory. Furthermore, we propose an integrated framework, combining the two theories for scholars and practitioners interested in designing innovation networks. Second, based on these empirical results and extant theory, we offer three main lessons for practitioners to advance the industry by designing and orchestrating microfranchise innovation networks in embedded contexts to achieve positive financial and social impacts.