Doing ethnography in informal sector

Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania

M. Halme, A. Kourula, S. Lindeman, G. Kallio, Maria Lima-Toivanen, A. Kostunova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific

Abstract

Poverty is one of the major challenges facing the contemporary society, and most of the world’s poor live in the informal sector. Suggestions for market-based solutions to poverty have proliferated over the past decade. Yet main relevant research streams such as the base of the pyramid (BOP) and inclusive market studies addressing business solutions to poverty alleviation often ignore the special features of the informal sector. Among the ignored informal sector issues are life practices of BOP individuals. This undermines the opportunities of business people and management scholars to provide effective solutions to poverty alleviation. In order to start filling the gap, we exemplify how ethnographic research on everyday practices of poor people can serve as one approach for gaining knowledge about user needs in the informal sector. This paper is a methodological account of short-term, multi-location consumer ethnography in the context of urban BOP in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. We describe the research process from field study preparation to the data collection and analysis including the challenges encountered and solutions that emerged. Interactive shadowing as one method for studying practices at the BOP is introduced. Based on our collaboration with a set of companies, the end of the paper exemplifies how businesses can utilize the knowledge about informal sector BOP practices to recognize opportunity spaces and innovation ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAcademy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting - Boston, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20127 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number1
Volume2012
ISSN (Print)0065-0668
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561

Conference

ConferenceAcademy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period3/08/127/08/12

Fingerprint

informal sector
Tanzania
ethnography
Russia
Brazil
India
poverty
market
research process
data analysis
innovation
management

Keywords

  • ethnography
  • base of the pyramid (BOP)
  • practices
  • poverty
  • informal sector

Cite this

Halme, M., Kourula, A., Lindeman, S., Kallio, G., Lima-Toivanen, M., & Kostunova, A. (2012). Doing ethnography in informal sector: Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. In Academy of Management Proceedings Academy of Management. Academy of Management Proceedings, No. 1, Vol.. 2012 https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2012.13520abstract
Halme, M. ; Kourula, A. ; Lindeman, S. ; Kallio, G. ; Lima-Toivanen, Maria ; Kostunova, A. / Doing ethnography in informal sector : Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management, 2012. (Academy of Management Proceedings; No. 1, Vol. 2012).
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Halme, M, Kourula, A, Lindeman, S, Kallio, G, Lima-Toivanen, M & Kostunova, A 2012, Doing ethnography in informal sector: Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. in Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management, Academy of Management Proceedings, no. 1, vol. 2012, Academy of Management 2012 Annual Meeting, Boston, United States, 3/08/12. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2012.13520abstract

Doing ethnography in informal sector : Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. / Halme, M.; Kourula, A.; Lindeman, S.; Kallio, G.; Lima-Toivanen, Maria; Kostunova, A.

Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management, 2012. (Academy of Management Proceedings; No. 1, Vol. 2012).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific

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ER -

Halme M, Kourula A, Lindeman S, Kallio G, Lima-Toivanen M, Kostunova A. Doing ethnography in informal sector: Study of BOP consumers in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania. In Academy of Management Proceedings. Academy of Management. 2012. (Academy of Management Proceedings; No. 1, Vol. 2012). https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2012.13520abstract