Baue, William. 2004. “Book Review—The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits,” on www.socialfunds.com. Accessed on 4/06/2008 http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/1571.html
Summary: The reviewer identifies that C. K. Prahalad seeks to solve global poverty by turning the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid from victims of globalization into its beneficiaries through consumerism.Baue also notes, however, that MNCs have a much longer history of externalizing environmental problems than solving them, thus he claims Prahalad “may be falling prey to wishful thinking”. He clarifies that he does not believe Prahalad's BOP theories should be abandoned due to environmental considerations, but that “for BOP theories to be truly sustainable, they must devote more fully-developed solutions to the attendant environmental problems they create.”
Carden, A. 2008. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits by C. K. Prahalad, in Economic Affairs-HARLOW THEN LONDON-. 28 (4), 89-91.
Summary: Carden’s review of Prahalad’s The Fortune at the Bottom of The Pyramid is a straightforward summary of the book’s arguments and case study points. The reviewer’s overall take-away is that “local knowledge matters, and the ability to exploit this local knowledgeis fundamental to profitability in theworld’s poorest countries. WhereWal-Mart and Sears have failed, localfirms can make headway and introducethe world’s poor to credit and capitalmarkets. Prahalad’s contribution is anappropriate introduction to theeconomics of the twenty-first-centuryglobal economy.”
Day, Nicola. 2007 Bottom of the Pyramid from the Perspective of Poverty Reduction, on www.nri.org. Accessed on 4/08/2009 http://www.nri.org/projects/nret/oxfam_gb_prahalad.pdf
Summary: Review in presentation format for Oxfam GB which is an organization aiming to alleviate poverty and suffering through development, humanitarian response, campaigning and communicating. The presentation includes and overview of Prahalad’s points and strategies and looks at both the possibilities and dangers of these perspectives. Their main concerns include creating non-existent needs, corporate entities taking advantage of BOP customer’s vulnerability, and the inability for strategies based on the business need to find new markets to serve as a development tool. The reviewer identifies the need to have a better understanding of the context and full impact of companies beyond just direct business.
Desai, Manish and Madhu Viswanathan. 2006. Point/Counterpoint: Two Views of C.K. Prahalad’s The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, in The Illinois International Review. http://ilint.illinois.edu//mt/iir/online/2006/11/pointcounterpoint_two_views_of.html
Abstract: C.K. Prahalad, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, was on the University of Illinois campus April 21, 2006 to deliver The Alan M. Hallene Lecture. The lecture, elucidating some of the book’s major points, was organized by The Hoeft Technology & Management Program. Prahalad enjoyed a full house for the lecture, largely of enthusiastic supporters, and took questions in the limited time following his presentation. In order to continue that conversation with a larger audience and at more length, the editor invited the two authors to respond in a point/ counterpoint fashion to Prahalad’s ideas.
The Economist. 2004. C.K. Prahalad Thinks There Can Be a Win-Win Relationship Between Business and the Poor, in The Economist (print edition, reposted by Wharton School Publishing). Accessed 4/9/2009 http://www.ftpress.com/promotions/promotion.aspx?promo=1654
Summary: Standard review of Fortune At The Bottom of the Pyramid. Excerpt: Prahalad “is a fierce critic of traditional top-down thinking on aid, by governments and non-governmental organisations alike. They tend to see the poor as victims to be helped, he says, not as people who can be part of the solution—and so their help often creates dependency. Nor does he pin much hope on the "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) programmes of many large companies. If you want serious commitment from a firm, he says, its involvement with the poor "can't be based on philanthropy or CSR". The involvement of big business is crucial to eradicating poverty, he believes, but BOP markets must "become integral to the success of the firm in order to command senior management attention and sustained resource allocation."
Hazelhurst, Ethel. 2007. Tapping the bottom of the pyramid with CK Prahalad, in www.busrep.co.za. Accessed 4/8/2008. http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=553&fArticleId=3717445
Summary: Hazelhurst writes a straightforward review of Prahalad’s strategies. Excerpt: “Businesses that can make badly needed goods and services accessible, at affordable prices, will significantly improve their quality of life. This idea simultaneously opens up new frontiers for businesses, currently operating in saturated, more affluent markets, and makes poverty relief more sustainable than when it depends solely on donor aid. The idea doesn't always go down well. It jars among business decision makers who can't see around corners, as it does with those who believe any undertaking that turns a profit is inherently evil. But Prahalad has made a fortune telling managers they need to ‘shake free of their dominant logic’. And he is making inroads into accepted wisdom about poverty relief.”
Knowledge @ Wharton. 2004. Marketers Must Seek Their “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, on knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu. Accessed 4/9/2009. http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=940
Abstract: Prahalad argues that multinational companies not only can make money selling to the world’s poorest, but also that they must undertake such efforts as a way to close the growing gap between rich and poor countries. A central point in The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid is that the effort to help the poorest people can be successful across different countries and different industries ranging from health care and finance to fast-moving consumer goods and energy. The exceptions, Prahalad notes, are countries that are essentially lawless, like Somalia and the Congo, and industries that are among the most basic, particularly some of the purely extractive industries that employ many people but have little incentive or ability to empower them. Otherwise, Prahalad says, his approach “can work 90% of the time.”
MacNealy, Jeremy. 2007. “Foolish Book Review: ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid’”, on www.fool.com. Accessed on 4/06/2008 http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2007/04/19/foolish-book-review-the-fortune-at-the-bottom-of-t.aspx
Summary: MacNealy makes a straight-forward and brief summary review of the book. Excerpt: “Is it conceivable for Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), with its immense scale and distribution know-how, to use its strengths to serve BOP markets profitably? Can continued innovations and affordability in renewable energy sources and cellular phones bring both electricity and communication to a populace where these basics of modern life are sorely lacking? Prahalad believes so. The Fortune At the Bottom of the Pyramid shows how private enterprise can empower the poor; it is a blueprint for eradicating poverty through profits.”
Management Today. 2004. Review of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by C.K. Prahalad, in Management Today. Accessed 4/9/2009 http://www.whartonsp.com/promotions/promotion.asp?promo=1552
Summary: Standard book review. Excerpts: “The simple yet immensely powerful insight at the heart of C.K. Prahalad's new book is just this: the rich world has turned its back on the poor, and both are losing out as a result. “While large firms and multinational corporations have exploited the poor in some cases, the greatest harm they have done to the poor is to ignore them," Prahalad states in his opening chapter. The tough physical and environmental conditions in BOP markets will also encourage business to find more sustainable ways of pursuing profits. The wasteful first world does not require as imaginative an approach as the resource-starved developing world. But meeting this BOP challenge can only be good for multinationals in their drive for greater innovation.”
Srinivasan, S. K. 2005. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits by C. K. Prahalad, in VIKALPA. 30 (2), 149-153.
Summary: Standard book review of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, by C. K. Prahalad. Excerpt: “This book is not only an attempt to rethink the idea of marketing to a hitherto neglected segment but a redefinition of the very idea of a market. It argues that we finally have the wherewithal to move beyond the constraints of the Pareto principle (which would argue that if 80% of value can be extracted from 20% of the customers, then the rest do not really matter from a purely marketing point of view). This book, however, is about the possibilities of marketing to the bottom 80 percent—an idea that has little cachet in traditional economic theory, but one made possible if large-scale innovation and entrepreneurship become the new coordinates of economic activity. This is not an attempt to search for a new market segment but an ethical call to think beyond the given assumptions of segmentation in marketing theory.”
Walsh, J. P., Kress, J. C., & Beyerchen, K.W. 2005. C. K. Prahalad: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits. Administrative Science Quarterly. 50 (3), 473-482.
Summary: This book review of Prahalad’s The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid introduces Prahalad’s primary ideas and emphasizes the wide-acclaim garnered by his scholarship as well as the provocative nature of the questions he raises. He calls upon corporations to extend their philosophies of money-making to the impoverished as a valid and valuable customer base. The reviewers highlight the promise of Prahalad’s work and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of his framework for engagement and his case study examples of the BOP as a viable market. They issue several prongs of critique, among them that his choice to not include case studies in which BOP strategies have failed weakens his overall argument, and that it would have been beneficial for him to draw a clearer relationship between BOP investments and eradication of poverty. These reviewers recognize the ground-breaking value of Prahalad’s idea but declare the need to know more about how and when BOP investments work to eliminate poverty.
Viswanathan, Roopa Nishi. Book Review: Fortune at The Bottom of The Pyramid, C.K.Prahalad, on www.chillibreeze.com. Accessed 4/9/2009.
Summary: Viswanathan wrote this review for Chillibreeze Solutions which is an Indian “content and design service provider catering to the needs of a global clientele.” This is a straight-forward review of Prahalad’s book from a business perspective. Excerpt: “The Fortune at The Bottom of The Pyramid provides you with these facts, while telling you why what you know about BOP markets is wrong. This book, for a refreshing change, is not about BPO, but BOP, the bottom of the pyramid, the real source of market promise. “Why is it that with all our technology, managerial know-how, and investment capacity, we are unable to make even a minor contribution to the problem of pervasive global poverty and disenfranchisement?” This profound question hits you only to leave you answerless. This is definitely a book which makes you sit up and think from the very beginning. Whether you're a business leader or an anti-poverty activist, this book shows you why you can't afford to ignore ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ (BOP).
Vogl, A. J. 2004. The Invisible Market: Think that double-digit growth is a thing of the past? Think again, says C.K. Prahalad. Think of "the bottom of the pyramid”, in ACROSS THE BOARD. 41, 23-28.
Summary: Interview with C.K. Prahalad about his book “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” Few management thinkers can lay claim to having made a difference in the way managers think. C.K. Prahalad is one of them. In Competing for the Future, C.K. (as he is called by everyone) and his longtime collaborator Gary Hamel made such phrases as "strategic architecture" and, most particularly, "core competencies" common management parlance. This is a market? These are consumers? This is a growth opportunity? Yes, yes, and yes, Prahalad maintains. His latest book's first half presents his rationale and approach for dealing with the bottom of the pyramid; the latter half offers a dozen detailed case histories that document how to do it.