Keith Olson and Chandu Valluri are both first year DBA students at Creighton University. They look forward to the opportunity to present their research at the CJBE conference.
The Role of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on the Rate New Product Diffusion in Base of the Pyramid Markets (BOP)
The Base of the Pyramid market consists of approximately four billion people representing two-thirds of humanity who live on less than two dollars a day (Hammond et. al, 2007). A principal problem facing BOP consumers is lack of access to goods and services, due to unavailability and/or non-affordability. The problem is associated with the difficulty that producers find in marketing their products to potential BOP customers. This study seeks to discuss the role of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the rate of new product innovation diffusion in Base of Pyramid markets. The authors are motivated to extend existing BOP research and propose that ICT has the potential to improve product diffusion challenges associated with BOP markets. The paper reviews diffusion of innovation theory (Rogers, 1962), new product innovation diffusion theory (Bass, 1980; Mahajan, 1990) and the Automate-Informate-Transform roles of ICT (Armstrong and Sambamurthy, 1999). More specifically, the proposed diffusion of a microfinance product where ICT is used to where ICT is not used is mentioned. The authors rely on the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) database to test their hypotheses. Existing BOP research has shown limited empirical testing of ICT at the BOP level. The authors hope to contribute to both academic and practioner understanding of the mechanisms of BOP new production innovation adoption and determine whether the new product innovation diffusion curve as proven in developed markets retains its shape in BOP markets. Additionally, this proposal seeks to test the moderator role of ICT in BOP markets.