Social Business Collaboration at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of Orchestration

Stefan Gold, Ilma Chowdhury, Fahian Huq, Kristin Heinemann

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Social business orchestrators (SBO) help social businesses of various sizes to tackle major societal issues by filling gaps in knowledge and resources. However, research has overlooked these types of collaboration. Situated within a bottom of the pyramid (BoP) context in Bangladesh, the current study sheds light on the process of value creation for SBO–social businesses partnerships by comparing different collaboration partners. Multiple case study research through the lens of the relational view was used to ask how SBOs facilitate value creation in social businesses by flexibly adapting resource inputs and governance mechanisms to the specific endowment and size of partners; this approach was informed by interviews and field note analyses. The combined deductive–inductive analysis enhances knowledge of idiosyncrasies of SBO–social business collaborations. Our study draws attention to the role of large orchestrators, whose model could be scaled and transferred to other world regions, including industrialised countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-275
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • base of the pyramid (BoP)
  • collaboration
  • developing countries
  • micro social businesses
  • small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • sustainability


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