Skip to main content

Multinationals, international business, and poverty: A cross-disciplinary research overview and conceptual framework

Abstract

This article examines the role of multinationals and international business in poverty alleviation, based on an analysis of articles in the top journals in business, economics, and policy. We develop a conceptual cross-disciplinary framework that maps and disentangles the impact of different types of international business activities on five dimensions of poverty, moderated by country and industry effects. While our study suggests that the impact of all the types of business activities on poverty is still unclear overall, we contribute to research and policy debates by identifying key insights from and main gaps in this cross-disciplinary stream of literature. A distinction is made between firm effects as part of both ‘mainstream’ and ‘responsible’ globalization, and firm-specific activities with and without the explicit goal of poverty alleviation, considering investment and trade. We propose areas for further research based on the framework, including the importance of interaction effects and contextual factors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1

References

  • Aaron, C. 1999. The Contribution of FDI to Poverty Alleviation. Washington, DC: Foreign Investment Advisory Service.

    Google Scholar 

  • Agénor, P.-R. 2004. Does globalization hurt the poor? International Economics and Economic Policy, 1(1): 21–51.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alawattage, C., & Fernando, S. 2017. Postcoloniality in corporate social and environmental accountability. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 60: 1–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alkire, S., Roche, J. M., & Vaz, A. 2017. Changes over time in multidimensional poverty: Methodology and results for 34 countries. World Development, 94: 232–249.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ansari, S., Munir, K., & Gregg, T. 2012. Impact at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’: The role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 813–842.

    Google Scholar 

  • Athukorala, P.-C. 2011. Trade liberalisation and the poverty of nations: A review article. Journal of Development Studies, 47(3): 533–543.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balat, J., Brambilla, I., & Porto, G. 2009. Realizing the gains from trade: Export crops, marketing costs, and poverty. Journal of International Economics, 78(1): 21–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Banerjee, A. V., & Duflo, E. 2007. The economic lives of the poor. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(1): 141–167.

    Google Scholar 

  • Banerjee, A. V., Duflo, E., Glennerster, R., & Kinnan, C. 2010. The miracle of microfinance? Evidence from a randomized evaluation. Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) Working Paper No. 278.

  • Bardy, R., Drew, S., & Kennedy, T. F. 2012. Foreign investment and ethics: How to contribute to social responsibility by doing business in less-developed countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 106(3): 267–282.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baud, I. 2016. Moving Towards inclusive development? Recent views on inequalities, frugal innovations, urban geo-technologies, gender and hybrid governance. The European Journal of Development Research, 28(2): 119–129.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beck, S., & Ogden, T. 2007. Beware of bad microcredit. Harvard Business Review, 85(9): 20–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bergh, A., & Nilsson, T. 2014. Is globalization reducing absolute poverty? World Development, 62: 42–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beuermann, D. W., McKelvey, C., & Vakis, R. 2012. Mobile phones and economic development in rural Peru. Journal of Development Studies, 48(11): 1617–1628.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blowfield, M. E., & Dolan, C. 2010. Fairtrade facts and fancies: What Kenyan Fairtrade tea tells us about business’ role as development agent. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2): 143–162.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boersma, F. V. 2009. The urgency and necessity of a different type of market: the perspective of producers organized within the fair trade market. Journal of Business Ethics, 86(1): 51–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., Du Toit, A., Riisgaard, L., & Halberg, N. 2010. Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value-chain analysis: a conceptual framework. Development Policy Review, 28(2): 173–194.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calton, J. M., Werhane, P. H., Hartman, L. P., & Bevan, D. 2013. Building partnerships to create social and economic value at the base of the global development pyramid. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(4): 721–733.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carmody, P. 2012. The informationalization of poverty in Africa? Mobile phones and economic structure. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(3): 1–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chatterjee, S. 2016. Articulating globalization: Exploring the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) terrain. Organization Studies, 37(5): 635–653.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chicoine, L., & Guzman, J. C. 2017. Increasing rural health clinic utilization with SMS updates: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in Uganda. World Development, 99: 419–430.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chiputwa, B., Spielman, D. J., & Qaim, M. 2015. Food standards, certification, and poverty among coffee farmers in Uganda. World Development, 66: 400–412.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. 2017. The governance of global value chains: Unresolved human rights, environmental and ethical dilemmas in the apple supply chain. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(1): 111–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colen, L., Persyn, D., & Guariso, A. 2016. Bilateral investment treaties and FDI: Does the sector matter? World Development, 83: 193–206.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crafts, N. 2013. Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind. book review. Economic Journal, 123(566): F193–F197.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cramer, C., Johnston, D., Mueller, B., Oya, C., & Sender, J. 2017. Fairtrade and labour markets in Ethiopia and Uganda. Journal of Development Studies, 53(6): 841–856.

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Amelio, M., Garrone, P., & Piscitello, L. 2016. Can multinational enterprises light up developing countries?: Evidences from the access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. World Development, 88: 12–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Silva, H., Ratnadiwakara, D., & Zainudeen, A. 2009. Social influence in mobile phone adoption: Evidence from the bottom of pyramid in emerging Asia. Information Technologies & International Development, 7(3, Mobile Telephony Special Issue): 1–18.

  • Dolan, C., & Rajak, D. 2016. Remaking Africa’s informal economies: Youth, entrepreneurship and the promise of inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid. Journal of Development Studies, 52(4): 514–529.

    Google Scholar 

  • Duygan, B., & Bump, J. B. 2007. Can trade help poor people? The role of trade, trade policy and market access in Tanzania. Development Policy Review, 25(3): 293–310.

    Google Scholar 

  • Elwan, A. 1999. Poverty and Disability: A Survey of the Literature. Social Protection Discussion Paper Series. Washington, DC: World Bank.

  • Ferraro, F., Etzion, D., & Gehman, J. 2015. Tackling grand challenges pragmatically: Robust action revisited. Organization Studies, 36(3): 363–390.

    Google Scholar 

  • Financial Times. 2017. 50 Journals used in FT Research Rank: https://www.ft.com/content/3405a512-5cbb-11e1-8f1f-00144feabdc0. Accessed November 2017.

  • Gaur, A., & Kumar, M. 2018. A systematic approach to conducting review studies: An assessment of content analysis in 25 years of IB research. Journal of World Business, 53(2): 280–289.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gino, F., & Staats, B. R. 2012. The microwork solution. Harvard Business Review, 12(December): 92–96.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gohou, G., & Soumaré, I. 2012. Does foreign direct investment reduce poverty in Africa and are there regional differences? World Development, 40(1): 75–95.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gonzalez, A. 2016. Poverty, oil and corruption: the need for a Quad-Sector Development Partnership (QSDP) in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Development Policy Review, 34(4): 509–538.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hahn, R. 2009. The ethical rational of business for the poor: Integrating the concepts bottom of the pyramid, sustainable development, and corporate citizenship. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(3): 313–324.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hallerod, B., Rothstein, B., Daoud, A., & Nandy, S. 2013. Bad governance and poor children: A comparative analysis of government efficiency and severe child deprivation in 68 low- and middle-income countries. World Development, 48: 19–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Halme, M., Lindeman, S., & Linna, P. 2012. Innovation for inclusive business: Intrapreneurial bricolage in multinational corporations. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 743–784.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamann, R., & Bertels, S. 2017. The institutional work of exploitation: Employers’ work to create and perpetuate inequality. Journal of Management Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12325.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harrison, A., & McMillan, M. 2007. On the links between globalization and poverty. Journal of Economic Inequality, 5(1): 123–134.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartmann, J., & Moeller, S. 2014. Chain liability in multitier supply chains? Responsibility attributions for unsustainable supplier behavior. Journal of Operations Management, 32(5): 281–294.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hauf, F. 2017. Paradoxes of transnational labour rights campaigns: The case of play fair in Indonesia. Development and Change, 48(5): 987–1006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hill, R. P., & Rapp, J. M. 2009. Globalization and poverty: Oxymoron or new possibilities? Journal of Business Ethics, 85: 39–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huq, F. A., Chowdhury, I. N., & Klassen, R. D. 2016. Social management capabilities of multinational buying firms and their emerging market suppliers: An exploratory study of the clothing industry. Journal of Operations Management, 46: 19–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Idemudia, U. 2009. Oil extraction and poverty reduction in the Niger Delta: A critical examination of partnership initiatives. Journal of Business Ethics, 90: 91–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • IDRN. 2013. Where to publish? Top Development Journals: A Guide for the Perplexed: http://blogs.ubc.ca/idrnblog/2013/01/22/where-to-publish-top-development-journals-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/. Accessed November 2017.

  • Ilahiane, H., & Sherry, J. W. 2012. The problematics of the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ approach to international development: The case of micro-entrepreneurs’ use of mobile phones in Morocco. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(1): 13–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ite, U. E. 2007. Changing times and strategies: Shell’s contribution to sustainable community development in the Niger Delta. Nigeria. Sustainable Development, 15(1): 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jain, S. C., & Vachani, S. 2006. The role of MNCs in alleviating global poverty. In S. C. Jain & S. Vachani (Eds), Multinational Corporations and Global Poverty Reduction (pp. 3–28). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaplinsky, R. 2011. Schumacher meets Schumpeter: Appropriate technology below the radar. Research Policy, 40(2): 193–203.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaplinsky, R. 2013. What contribution can China make to inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa? Development and Change, 44(6): 1295–1316.

    Google Scholar 

  • Khavul, S., & Bruton, G. D. 2013. Harnessing innovation for change: Sustainability and poverty in developing countries. Journal of Management Studies, 50(2): 285–306.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kis-Katos, K. 2015. Poverty, labor markets and trade liberalization in Indonesia. Journal of Development Economics, 117: 94–106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiss, A. N., Danis, W. M., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2012. International entrepreneurship research in emerging economies: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2): 266–290.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kistruck, G. M., Beamish, P. W., Qureshi, I., & Sutter, C. J. 2013a. Social intermediation in base-of-the-pyramid markets. Journal of Management Studies, 50(1): 31–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kistruck, G. M., Sutter, C. J., Lount, R. B., & Smith, B. R. 2013b. Mitigating principal–agent problems in base-of-the-pyramid markets: An identity spillover perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 56(3): 659–682.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knorringa, P., Peša, I., Leliveld, A., & van Beers, C. 2016. Frugal innovation and development: Aides or adversaries? The European Journal of Development Research, 28(2): 143–153.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A. 2016. The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development. Journal of World Business, 51(1): 23–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A., Kourula, A., & Pisani, N. 2017. Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: What do we know and how to proceed? Transnational Corporations, 24(3): 9–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A., & Lenfant, F. 2015. Cross-sector collaboration, institutional gaps and fragility: The role of social innovation partnerships in a conflict-affected region. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 34(2): 287–303.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A., & Rivera-Santos, M. 2018. The state of research on Africa in business and management. Insights from a systematic review of key international journals. Business & Society, 57(3): 415–436.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kolk, A., Rivera-Santos, M., & Rufín, C. 2014. Reviewing a decade of research on the ‘base/bottom of the pyramid’ (BOP) Concept. Business & Society, 53(3): 338–377.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kourula, A., Pisani, N., & Kolk, A. 2017. Corporate sustainability and inclusive development: Highlights from international business and management research. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 24: 14–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Loayza, N., & Rigolini, J. 2016. The local impact of mining on poverty and inequality: Evidence from the commodity boom in Peru. World Development, 84: 219–234.

    Google Scholar 

  • London, T., Esper, H., Grogan-Kaylor, A., & Kistruck, G. M. 2014. Connecting poverty to purchase in informal markets. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(1): 37–55.

    Google Scholar 

  • Looi Kee, H., Nicita, A., & Olarreaga, M. 2009. Estimating trade restrictiveness indices. Economic Journal, 119(534): 172–199.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lund-Thomsen, P., Lindgreen, A., & Vanhamme, J. 2016a. Industrial clusters and corporate social responsibility in developing countries: What we know, what we do not know, and what we need to know. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1): 9–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lund-Thomsen, P., Lindgreen, A., & Vanhamme, J. 2016b. Special issue on industrial clusters and corporate social responsibility in developing countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1): 5–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lund-Thomsen, P., & Nadvi, K. 2010. Clusters, chains and compliance: Corporate social responsibility and governance in football manufacturing in South Asia. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2): 201–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maak, T., & Pless, N. 2009. Business leaders as citizens of the world. Advancing humanism on a global scale. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(3): 537–550.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malsch, B. 2013. Politicizing the expertise of the accounting industry in the realm of corporate social responsibility. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 38(2): 149–168.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, K. D., & Hill, R. P. 2011. Life satisfaction, self-determination, and consumption adequacy at the bottom of the pyramid. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(6): 1155–1168.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matos, S., & Hall, J. 2007. Integrating sustainable development in the supply chain: The case of life cycle assessment in oil and gas and agricultural biotechnology. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6): 1083–1102.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maung, M., Wilson, C., & Tang, X. 2016. Political connections and industrial pollution: Evidence based on state ownership and environmental levies in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 138(4): 649–659.

    Google Scholar 

  • McAfee, K. 2012. The contradictory logic of global ecosystem services markets. Development and Change, 43(1): 105–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCaig, B. 2011. Exporting out of poverty: Provincial poverty in Vietnam and US market access. Journal of International Economics, 85(1): 102–113.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meaton, J., Abebe, B., & Wood, A. P. 2015. Forest spice development: The use of value chain analysis to identify opportunities for the sustainable development of Ethiopian cardamom (Korerima). Sustainable Development, 23(1): 1–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Medina-Muñoz, D. R., Medina-Muñoz, R. D., & Gutiérrez-Pérez, F. J. 2016. A sustainable development approach to assessing the engagement of tourism enterprises in poverty alleviation. Sustainable Development, 24(4): 220–236.

    Google Scholar 

  • Minten, B., Randrianarison, L., & Swinnen, J. F. 2009. Global retail chains and poor farmers: Evidence from Madagascar. World Development, 37(11): 1728–1741.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchener, K. J. 2012. ‘Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind’ by Jeffrey G. Williamson. Journal of Economic Literature, L(1): 210–213.

  • Moncarz, P., Barone, S., Calfat, G., & Descalzi, R. 2017. Poverty impacts of changes in the international prices of agricultural commodities: Recent evidence for Argentina (an ex-ante analysis). Journal of Development Studies, 53(3): 375–395.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mooij, J. 2009. ‘Reclaiming social policy: Globalization, social exclusion and new poverty reduction strategies’ by Arjan de Haan. Book review. Development and Change, 40(2): 391–393.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy, K. M., Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W. 1989. Industrialization and the big push. Journal of Political Economy, 97(5): 1003–1026.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murshed, S. M. 2008. ‘Escape from empire: The developing world’s journey through heaven and hell’ by Alice H. Amsden. Development and Change, 39(4): 697–698.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neu, D., Rahaman, A. S., & Everett, J. 2014. Accounting and sweatshops: Enabling coordination and control in low-price apparel production chains. Contemporary Accounting Research, 31(2): 322–346.

    Google Scholar 

  • Newell, P. 2008. CSR and the limits of capital. Development and Change, 39(6): 1063–1078.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nunnenkamp, P., Schweickert, R., & Wiebelt, M. 2007. Distributional effects of FDI: How the interaction of FDI and economic policy affects poor households in Bolivia. Development Policy Review, 25(4): 429–450.

    Google Scholar 

  • Opoku, D. K. 2008. ‘Bad samaritans: The myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism’ by Ha-Joon Chang. Development and Change, 39(5), 865–866.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osuji, O. K., & Obibuaku, U. L. 2016. Rights and corporate social responsibility: Competing or complementary approaches to poverty reduction and socioeconomic rights? Journal of Business Ethics, 136(2): 329–347.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parmigiani, A., & Rivera-Santos, M. 2015. Sourcing for the base of the pyramid: Constructing supply chains to address voids in subsistence markets. Journal of Operations Management, 33–34(1): 60–70.

    Google Scholar 

  • Phillips, N., & Sakamoto, L. 2012. Global production networks, chronic poverty and ‘slave labour’in Brazil. Studies in Comparative International Development, 47(3): 287–315.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pisani, N., Kourula, A., Kolk, A., & Meijer, R. 2017. How global is international CSR research? Insights and recommendations from a systematic review. Journal of World Business, 52(5): 591–614.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pless, N., & Maak, T. 2009. Responsible leaders as agents of world benefit: Learnings from ‘project ulysses’. Journal of Business Ethics, 85: 59–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Porter, M. E. 2000. Location, competition, and economic development: Local clusters in a global economy. Economic Development Quarterly, 14(1): 15–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Radcliffe, S., & Pequeño, A. 2010. Ethnicity, development and gender: Tsáchila indigenous women in Ecuador. Development & Change, 41(6): 983–1016.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rahaman, M. M., & Khan, N. A. 2017. Making international aid effective: An agenda for aligning aid to social business. Development Policy Review, 35: O96–O117.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rangan, V. K., Chu, M., & Petkoski, D. 2011. Segmenting the base of the pyramid. Harvard Business Review, 89(6): 113–117.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ravallion, M. 2015. The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ravallion, M., & Chen, S. 2009. Weakly relative poverty. Policy Research Working Paper 4844. Washington, DC: World Bank.

  • Read, R. 2010. ‘Trade, growth and poverty reduction: Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small states in the global economic system’ by T.N. Srinivasan. Journal of Development Studies, 46(3): 597–599.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rein, M., & Stott, L. 2009. Working together: Critical perspectives on six cross-sector partnerships in Southern Africa. Journal of Business Ethics, 90: 79–89.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rice, A. 2010. The peanut solution. New York Times, September 2.

  • Riisgaard, L., Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., Du Toit, A., Halberg, N., & Matose, F. 2010. Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value-chain analysis: A strategic framework and practical guide. Development Policy Review, 28(2): 195–216.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rivera-Santos, M., Rufín, C., & Kolk, A. 2012. Bridging the institutional divide: Partnerships in subsistence markets. Journal of Business Research, 65(12): 1721–1727.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roessler, C. 2017. Journals. 8.2. Economic Development/Country Studies: http://econphd.econwiki.com/journals/jtrade.htm#Economic%20Development Accessed November 2017.

  • Romer, P. M. 2010. What parts of globalization matter for catch-up growth? American Economic Reivew, 100(May): 94–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rudra, N., & Tirone, D. C. 2017. Trade, politics, and the poor: Is Sen right and Bhagwati wrong? Studies in Comparative International Development, 52(1): 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Santos-Paulino, A. U. 2013. ‘Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind’ by Jeffrey G. Williamson. Journal of Development Studies, 49(7): 1032–1034.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwittay, A. 2009. Taking Prahalad high-tech: The emergence and evolution of global corporate citizenship in the IT industry. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 33: 97–107.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwittay, A. 2012. Incorporated citizens: Multinational high-tech companies and the BoP. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(1): 43–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott, L., Dolan, C., Johnstone-Louis, M., Sugden, K., & Wu, M. 2012. Enterprise and inequality: A study of Avon in South Africa. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(3): 543–568.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sesan, T., Raman, S., Clifford, M., & Forbes, I. 2013. Corporate-led sustainable development and energy poverty alleviation at the bottom of the pyramid: The case of the CleanCook in Nigeria. World Development, 45: 137–146.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shah, R., & Batley, R. 2009. Private-sector investment in infrastructure: Rationale and causality for pro-poor impacts. Development Policy Review, 27(4): 397–417.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sodhi, M. S., & Tang, C. S. 2014. Supply-chain research opportunities with the poor as suppliers or distributors in developing countries. Production and Operations Management, 23(9): 1483–1494.

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinkopf-Rice, J. 2010. Free trade, fair trade and gender inequality in less developed countries. Sustainable Development, 18(1): 42–50.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stern, N., Dethier, J. J., & Rogers, F. H. 2005. Growth and Empowerment: Making Development Happen. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tilak, J. B. 2002. Education and poverty. Journal of Human Development, 3(2): 191–207.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tobias, J. M., Mair, J., & Barbosa-Leiker, C. 2013. Toward a theory of transformative entrepreneuring: Poverty reduction and conflict resolution in Rwanda’s entrepreneurial coffee sector. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(6): 728–742.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tollefson, J. 2015. Can randomized trials eliminate global poverty? Nature, 524: 150–153.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tranfield, D. R., Denyer, D., & Smart, P. 2003. Towards a methodology for developing evidence-informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management, 14(3): 207–222.

    Google Scholar 

  • Udry, C. 1990. Credit markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as insurance in a rural economy. World Bank Economic Review, 4(3): 251–269.

    Google Scholar 

  • UN Global Compact. 2007. The Ten Principles. http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/index.html. Accessed November 2017.

  • Vakili, K., & McGahan, A. M. 2016. Health care’s grand challenge: Stimulating basic science on diseases that primarily afflict the poor. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6): 1917–1939.

    Google Scholar 

  • VanSandt, C. V., & Sud, M. 2012. Poverty alleviation through partnerships: A road less travelled for business, governments, and entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Ethics, 110(3): 321–332.

    Google Scholar 

  • Venkatesh, V., & Sykes, T. A. 2013. Digital divide initiative success in developing countries: A longitudinal field study in a village in India. Information Systems Research, 24(2): 239–260.

    Google Scholar 

  • Venot, J.-P. 2016. A success of some sort: Social enterprises and drip irrigation in the developing world. World Development, 72: 69–81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Verma, M. 2011. Are the poverty effects of trade policies invisible? The World Bank Economic Review, 25(2): 190–211.

    Google Scholar 

  • Werner, M., Bair, J., & Fernández, V. R. 2014. Linking up to development? Global value chains and the making of a post-Washington Consensus. Development and Change, 45(6): 1219–1247.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wettstein, F. 2008. Let’s talk rights: Messages for the just corporation—transforming the economy through the language of rights. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(1): 247–263.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wiggins, S. 2008. ‘Land, Poverty and livelihoods in an era of globalization: Perspectives from developing and transition countries’ edited by Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Saturnino M. Borras Jr and Cristobal Kay. Journal of Development Studies, 44(5): 761–767.

  • Winters, P., Corral, L., & Mora, A. M. 2013. Assessing the role of tourism in poverty alleviation: A research agenda. Development Policy Review, 31(2): 177–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woodson, T. S. 2016. Public private partnerships and emerging technologies: A look at nanomedicine for diseases of poverty. Research Policy, 45(7): 1410–1418.

    Google Scholar 

  • World Bank. 2000. World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yuan, W., Bao, Y., & Verbeke, A. 2011. Integrating CSR initiatives in business: An organizing framework. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(1): 75–92.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zahra, S. A., Rawhouser, H. N., Bhawe, N., Neubaum, D. O., & Hayton, J. C. 2008. Globalization of social entrepreneurship opportunities. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(2): 117–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zulu, L., & Wilson, S. 2012. Whose minerals, whose development? Rhetoric and reality in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Development and Change, 43(5): 1103–1131.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ans Kolk.

Additional information

Accepted by Hafiz Mirza, Area Editor, 26 March 2018. This article has been with the authors for one revision and was single-blind reviewed.

Appendix: List of papers

Appendix: List of papers

Alawattage, C., & Fernando, S. 2017. Postcoloniality in corporate social and environmental accountability. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 60: 1–20.
Ansari, S., Munir, K., & Gregg, T. 2012. Impact at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’: The role of social capital in capability development and community empowerment. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 813–842.
Athukorala, P.-C. 2011. Trade liberalisation and the poverty of nations: A review article. Journal of Development Studies, 47(3): 533–543.
Balat, J., Brambilla, I., & Porto, G. 2009. Realizing the gains from trade: Export crops, marketing costs, and poverty. Journal of International Economics, 78(1): 21–31.
Bardy, R., Drew, S., & Kennedy, T. F. 2012. Foreign investment and ethics: How to contribute to social responsibility by doing business in less-developed countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 106(3): 267–282.
Baud, I. 2016. Moving towards inclusive development? Recent views on inequalities, frugal innovations, urban geo-technologies, gender and hybrid governance. The European Journal of Development Research, 28(2): 119–129.
Beck, S., & Ogden, T. 2007. Beware of bad microcredit. Harvard Business Review, 85(9): 20–22.
Bergh, A., & Nilsson, T. 2014. Is globalization reducing absolute poverty? World Development, 62: 42–61.
Beuermann, D. W., McKelvey, C., & Vakis, R. 2012. Mobile phones and economic development in rural Peru. Journal of Development Studies, 48(11): 1617–1628.
Blowfield, M. E., & Dolan, C. 2010. Fairtrade facts and fancies: What Kenyan Fairtrade tea tells us about business’ role as development agent. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2): 143–162.
Boersma, F. V. 2009. The urgency and necessity of a different type of market: the perspective of producers organized within the fair trade market. Journal of Business Ethics, 86(1): 51–61.
Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., Du Toit, A., Riisgaard, L., & Halberg, N. 2010. Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value‐chain analysis: A conceptual framework. Development Policy Review, 28(2): 173–194.
Calton, J. M., Werhane, P. H., Hartman, L. P., & Bevan, D. 2013. Building partnerships to create social and economic value at the base of the global development pyramid. Journal of Business Ethics, 117(4): 721–733.
Carmody, P. 2012. The informationalization of poverty in Africa? Mobile phones and economic structure. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(3): 1–17.
Chatterjee, S. 2016. Articulating globalization: Exploring the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) terrain. Organization Studies, 37(5): 635–653.
Chiputwa, B., Spielman, D. J., & Qaim, M. 2015. Food standards, certification, and poverty among coffee farmers in Uganda. World Development, 66: 400–412.
Colen, L., Persyn, D., & Guariso, A. 2016. Bilateral investment treaties and FDI: Does the sector matter? World Development, 83: 193–206.
Crafts, N. 2013. Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind. Book Review. Economic Journal, 123(566): F193–F197.
Cramer, C., Johnston, D., Mueller, B., Oya, C., & Sender, J. 2017. Fairtrade and labour markets in Ethiopia and Uganda. Journal of Development Studies, 53(6): 841–856.
D’Amelio, M., Garrone, P., & Piscitello, L. 2016. Can multinational enterprises light up developing countries?: Evidences from the access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. World Development, 88: 12–32.
De Silva, H., Ratnadiwakara, D., & Zainudeen, A. 2009. Social influence in mobile phone adoption: Evidence from the bottom of pyramid in emerging Asia. Information Technologies & International Development, 7(3, Mobile Telephony Special Issue): 1–18.
Dolan, C., & Rajak, D. 2016. Remaking Africa’s informal economies: Youth, entrepreneurship and the promise of inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid. Journal of Development Studies, 52(4): 514–529.
Duygan, B., & Bump, J. B. 2007. Can trade help poor people? The role of trade, trade policy and market access in Tanzania. Development Policy Review, 25(3): 293–310.
Ferraro, F., Etzion, D., & Gehman, J. 2015. Tackling grand challenges pragmatically: Robust action revisited. Organization Studies, 36(3): 363–390.
Gino, F., & Staats, B. R. 2012. The microwork solution. Harvard Business Review, 12(December): 92–96.
Gohou, G., & Soumaré, I. 2012. Does foreign direct investment reduce poverty in Africa and are there regional differences? World Development, 40(1): 75–95.
Gonzalez, A. 2016. Poverty, oil and corruption: The need for a Quad‐Sector Development Partnership (QSDP) in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Development Policy Review, 34(4): 509–538.
Hahn, R. 2009. The ethical rational of business for the poor: Integrating the concepts bottom of the pyramid, sustainable development, and corporate citizenship. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(3): 313–324.
Halme, M., Lindeman, S., & Linna, P. 2012. Innovation for inclusive business: Intrapreneurial bricolage in multinational corporations. Journal of Management Studies, 49(4): 743–784.
Hamann, R., & Bertels, S. Forth. The institutional work of exploitation: Employers’ work to create and perpetuate inequality. Journal of Management Studies: https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12325.
Hartmann, J., & Moeller, S. 2014. Chain liability in multitier supply chains? Responsibility attributions for unsustainable supplier behavior. Journal of Operations Management, 32(5): 281–294.
Hauf, F. 2017. Paradoxes of transnational labour rights campaigns: The case of play fair in Indonesia. Development and Change, 48(5): 987–1006.
Hill, R. P., & Rapp, J. M. 2009. Globalization and poverty: Oxymoron or new possibilities? Journal of Business Ethics, 85: 39–47.
Huq, F. A., Chowdhury, I. N., & Klassen, R. D. 2016. Social management capabilities of multinational buying firms and their emerging market suppliers: An exploratory study of the clothing industry. Journal of Operations Management, 46: 19–37.
Idemudia, U. 2009. Oil extraction and poverty reduction in the Niger Delta: A critical examination of partnership initiatives. Journal of Business Ethics, 90: 91–116.
Ilahiane, H., & Sherry, J. W. 2012. The problematics of the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ approach to international development: the case of micro-entrepreneurs’ use of mobile phones in Morocco. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(1): 13–26.
Ite, U. E. 2007. Changing times and strategies: Shell’s contribution to sustainable community development in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Sustainable Development, 15(1): 1–14.
Kaplinsky, R. 2011. Schumacher meets Schumpeter: Appropriate technology below the radar. Research Policy, 40(2): 193–203.
Kaplinsky, R. 2013. What contribution can China make to inclusive growth in sub‐Saharan Africa? Development and Change, 44(6): 1295–1316.
Khavul, S., & Bruton, G. D. 2013. Harnessing innovation for change: Sustainability and poverty in developing countries. Journal of Management Studies, 50(2): 285–306.
Kis-Katos, K. 2015. Poverty, labor markets and trade liberalization in Indonesia. Journal of Development Economics, 117: 94–106.
Kiss, A. N., Danis, W. M., & Cavusgil, S. T. 2012. International entrepreneurship research in emerging economies: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2): 266–290.
Kistruck, G. M., Beamish, P. W., Qureshi, I., & Sutter, C. J. 2013. Social intermediation in base‐of‐the‐pyramid markets. Journal of Management Studies, 50(1): 31–66.
Kistruck, G. M., Sutter, C. J., Lount, R. B., & Smith, B. R. 2013. Mitigating principal-agent problems in base-of-the-pyramid markets: An identity spillover perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 56(3): 659–682.
Knorringa, P., Peša, I., Leliveld, A., & van Beers, C. 2016. Frugal innovation and development: aides or adversaries? The European Journal of Development Research, 28(2): 143–153.
Loayza, N., & Rigolini, J. 2016. The local impact of mining on poverty and inequality: Evidence from the commodity boom in Peru. World Development, 84: 219–234.
London, T., Esper, H., Grogan‐Kaylor, A., & Kistruck, G. M. 2014. Connecting poverty to purchase in informal markets. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(1): 37–55.
Looi Kee, H., Nicita, A., & Olarreaga, M. 2009. Estimating trade restrictiveness indices. Economic Journal, 119(534): 172–199.
Lund-Thomsen, P., Lindgreen, A., & Vanhamme, J. 2016. Industrial clusters and corporate social responsibility in developing countries: What we know, what we do not know, and what we need to know. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1): 9–24.
Lund-Thomsen, P., Lindgreen, A., & Vanhamme, J. 2016. Special issue on industrial clusters and corporate social responsibility in developing countries. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1): 5–8.
Maak, T., & Pless, N. 2009. Business leaders as citizens of the world. Advancing humanism on a global scale. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(3): 537–550.
Malsch, B. 2013. Politicizing the expertise of the accounting industry in the realm of corporate social responsibility. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 38(2): 149–168.
Matos, S., & Hall, J. 2007. Integrating sustainable development in the supply chain: The case of life cycle assessment in oil and gas and agricultural biotechnology. Journal of Operations Management, 25(6): 1083–1102.
McAfee, K. 2012. The contradictory logic of global ecosystem services markets. Development and Change, 43(1): 105–131.
McCaig, B. 2011. Exporting out of poverty: Provincial poverty in Vietnam and US market access. Journal of International Economics, 85(1): 102–113.
Meaton, J., Abebe, B., & Wood, A. P. 2015. Forest spice development: The use of value chain analysis to identify opportunities for the sustainable development of Ethiopian cardamom (Korerima). Sustainable Development, 23(1): 1–15.
Medina‐Muñoz, D. R., Medina‐Muñoz, R. D., & Gutiérrez‐Pérez, F. J. 2016. A sustainable development approach to assessing the engagement of tourism enterprises in poverty alleviation. Sustainable Development, 24(4): 220–236.
Minten, B., Randrianarison, L., & Swinnen, J. F. 2009. Global retail chains and poor farmers: Evidence from Madagascar. World Development, 37(11): 1728–1741.
Mitchener, K. J. 2012. ‘Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind’ by Jeffrey G. Williamson. Book review. Journal of Economic Literature, L(1): 210–213.
Moncarz, P., Barone, S., Calfat, G., & Descalzi, R. 2017. Poverty impacts of changes in the international prices of agricultural commodities: Recent evidence for Argentina (an ex-ante analysis). Journal of Development Studies, 53(3): 375–395.
Mooij, J. 2009. ‘Reclaiming social policy: Globalization, social exclusion and new poverty reduction strategies’ by Arjan de Haan. Book review. Development and Change, 40(2): 391–393.
Murshed, S. M. 2008. ‘Escape from empire: The developing world’s journey through heaven and hell’ by Alice H. Amsden. Development and Change, 39(4): 697–698.
Neu, D., Rahaman, A. S., & Everett, J. 2014. Accounting and sweatshops: Enabling coordination and control in low‐price apparel production chains. Contemporary Accounting Research, 31(2): 322–346.
Newell, P. 2008. CSR and the limits of capital. Development and Change, 39(6): 1063–1078.
Nunnenkamp, P., Schweickert, R., & Wiebelt, M. 2007. Distributional effects of FDI: How the interaction of FDI and economic policy affects poor households in Bolivia. Development Policy Review, 25(4): 429–450.
Opoku, D. K. 2008. ‘Bad Samaritans: The myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism’ by Ha‐Joon Chang. Development and Change, 39(5): 865–866.
Osuji, O. K., & Obibuaku, U. L. 2016. Rights and corporate social responsibility: Competing or complementary approaches to poverty reduction and socioeconomic rights? Journal of Business Ethics, 136(2): 329–347.
Parmigiani, A., & Rivera-Santos, M. 2015. Sourcing for the base of the pyramid: Constructing supply chains to address voids in subsistence markets. Journal of Operations Management, 33–34(1): 60–70.
Phillips, N., & Sakamoto, L. 2012. Global production networks, chronic poverty and ‘slave labour’ in Brazil. Studies in Comparative International Development, 47(3): 287–315.
Pless, N., & Maak, T. 2009. Responsible leaders as agents of world benefit: Learnings from ‘project Ulysses’, Journal of Business Ethics, 85: 59–71.
Rahaman, M. M., & Khan, N. A. 2017. Making international aid effective: An agenda for aligning aid to social business. Development Policy Review, 35: O96–O117.
Rangan, V. K., Chu, M., & Petkoski, D. 2011. Segmenting the base of the pyramid. Harvard Business Review, 89(6): 113–117.
Read, R. 2010. ‘Trade, growth and poverty reduction: Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small states in the global economic system’ by T.N. Srinivasan. Book review. Journal of Development Studies: 597–599.
Rein, M., & Stott, L. 2009. Working together: Critical perspectives on six cross-sector partnerships in Southern Africa. Journal of Business Ethics, 90: 79–89.
Rice, J. S. 2010. Free trade, fair trade and gender inequality in less developed countries. Sustainable Development, 18(1): 42–50.
Riisgaard, L., Bolwig, S., Ponte, S., Du Toit, A., Halberg, N., & Matose, F. 2010. Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into value‐chain analysis: A strategic framework and practical guide. Development Policy Review, 28(2): 195–216.
Romer, P. M. 2010. What parts of globalization matter for catch-up growth? American Economic Review, 100(May): 94–98.
Rudra, N., & Tirone, D. C. 2017. Trade, politics, and the poor: Is Sen right and Bhagwati wrong? Studies in Comparative International Development, 52(1): 1–22.
Santos-Paulino, A. U. 2013. ‘Trade and poverty: When the third world fell behind’ by Jeffrey G. Williamson. Book review. Journal of Development Studies: 1032–1034.
Schwittay, A. 2012. Incorporated citizens: Multinational high-tech companies and the BoP. Information Technologies & International Development, 8(1): 43–56.
Scott, L., Dolan, C., Johnstone‐Louis, M., Sugden, K., & Wu, M. 2012. Enterprise and inequality: A study of Avon in South Africa. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(3): 543–568.
Sesan, T., Raman, S., Clifford, M., & Forbes, I. 2013. Corporate-led sustainable development and energy poverty alleviation at the bottom of the pyramid: The case of the CleanCook in Nigeria. World Development, 45: 137–146.
Shah, R., & Batley, R. 2009. Private‐sector investment in infrastructure: Rationale and causality for pro‐poor impacts. Development Policy Review, 27(4): 397–417.
Sodhi, M. S., & Tang, C. S. 2014. Supply‐chain research opportunities with the poor as suppliers or distributors in developing countries. Production and Operations Management, 23(9): 1483–1494.
Tobias, J. M., Mair, J., & Barbosa-Leiker, C. 2013. Toward a theory of transformative entrepreneuring: Poverty reduction and conflict resolution in Rwanda’s entrepreneurial coffee sector. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(6): 728–742.
Vakili, K., & McGahan, A. M. 2016. Health care’s grand challenge: Stimulating basic science on diseases that primarily afflict the poor. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6): 1917–1939.
VanSandt, C. V., & Sud, M. 2012. Poverty alleviation through partnerships: A road less travelled for business, governments, and entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Ethics, 110(3): 321–332.
Venkatesh, V., & Sykes, T. A. 2013. Digital divide initiative success in developing countries: A longitudinal field study in a village in India. Information Systems Research, 24(2): 239–260.
Venot, J.-P. 2016. A success of some sort: Social enterprises and drip irrigation in the developing world. World Development, 72: 69–81.
Verma, M. 2011. Are the poverty effects of trade policies invisible? The World Bank Economic Review, 25(2): 190–211.
Werner, M., Bair, J., & Fernández, V. R. 2014. Linking up to development? Global value chains and the making of a post‐Washington Consensus. Development and Change, 45(6): 1219–1247.
Wettstein, F. 2008. Let’s talk rights: Messages for the just corporation – transforming the economy through the language of rights. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(1): 247–263.
Wiggins, S. 2008. ‘Land, poverty and livelihoods in an era of globalization. Perspectives from developing and transition countries’ edited by H. Akram-Lodhi, S. M. Borras Jr and C. Kay. Book review. Journal of Development Studies, 44(5): 761–767.
Winters, P., Corral, L., & Mora, A. M. 2013. Assessing the role of tourism in poverty alleviation: A research agenda. Development Policy Review, 31(2): 177–202.
Woodson, T. S. 2016. Public private partnerships and emerging technologies: A look at nanomedicine for diseases of poverty. Research Policy, 45(7): 1410–1418.
Zahra, S. A., Rawhouser, H. N., Bhawe, N., Neubaum, D. O., & Hayton, J. C. 2008. Globalization of social entrepreneurship opportunities. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(2): 117–131.
Zulu, L. & Wilson, S. 2012. Whose minerals, whose development? Rhetoric and reality in post‐conflict Sierra Leone. Development and Change, 43(5): 1103–1131.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kolk, A., Rivera-Santos, M. & Rufín, C. Multinationals, international business, and poverty: A cross-disciplinary research overview and conceptual framework. J Int Bus Policy 1, 92–115 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42214-018-0004-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s42214-018-0004-1

Keywords

  • economic development
  • foreign direct investment
  • global value chains
  • base of the pyramid
  • fair trade
  • poverty alleviation