Exploring customer loyalty at bottom of the pyramid in South Asia

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the under-researched area of social responsibility of small scale individual entrepreneurs (SIEs) and how that impacts on customer loyalty at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in the context of South Asia. Design/methodology/approach - Drawing from the literature, the paper expands and builds on the previous work of Azmat and Samaratunge on SIEs and develops a set of propositions that provide insights into the probable link between customer awareness, responsible business practices of SIEs and customer loyalty at the BoP level. Findings - Findings highlight the uniqueness of SIEs, BoP customers and the contextual variables in developing countries. The authors further contribute to knowledge by developing the concept of blind customer loyalty, where SIEs are likely to experience customer loyalty regardless of being socially responsible. Research limitations/implications - Given the limited literature on the social responsibility practices of SIEs, this paper makes a significant contribution to two different but important inter-related discourses on SIEs and their adoption of socially responsible practices, as well as to the BoP literature. Practical implications - The paper concludes by outlining the implications for SIEs, policy-makers, and practitioners, advancing the agenda of social responsibility for future research in the fields of both the BoP and SIEs. Originality/value - Given their unique characteristics and realities, SIEs in developing countries are involved with customers at the BoP on a day-to-day basis. However, there is a significant knowledge gap in the literature on their social responsibility and customer loyalty. This paper is the first of this kind to address and link this critical issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379 - 394
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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