Poverty Pitch

The intersection of American business and global poverty


With each resource below, I have included a “pitch statement” that shows how each source relates back to the website’s topic: American business solutions to global poverty.

Bardy, Roland, Stephen Drew, and Tumenta Kennedy. “Foreign Investment and Ethics: How to Contribute to Social Responsibility by Doing Business in Less-Developed Countries.” Journal of Business Ethics 106.3 (2012): 267-82. Print.

 The pitch: how the promise of poverty action actually plays out

 This study focuses on the various factors that affect the success of international Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and other business solutions addressing poverty in Sub-sahara Africa. The researchers provide and analyze evidence of positive change that resulted through these efforts.

Bishop, Matthew. “Fighting Global Poverty: Who’ll be Relevant in 2020?”. Brookings Blum Roundtable. 1 Aug 2007, The Brookings Institution, 2007. 1-10. Print.

The pitch: a game of partnerships – businesses as part of the ever-changing global development team

In his talk at a conference entitled “Development’s Changing Faces”, Bishop discusses the roles and dynamics of different players (government, philanthropists, and corporations) in the motion for global development. He argues that partnerships between various players will allow for a path of development that is balanced between flexible response from business and philanthropic sectors and sustainable organization from government sectors .

Bishop, Ronald. “From a Distance: Marginalization of the Poor in Television Ads for Goodwill Industries.” Journal of Poverty 12.4 (2008): 411-31. Print.

 The pitch: representations of poverty in Goodwill Industries advertisements

 Bishop does a textual analysis of television commercials for Goodwill Industries to analyze how these advertisements represent poverty in America.  He argues that these advertisements sanitize poverty by excluding the poor and focusing instead on the act of charity that distances the donors from their beneficiaries.

Bucic, Tania, Jennifer Harris, and Denni Arli. “Ethical Consumers among the Millennials: A Cross-National Study.” Journal of Business Ethics 110.1 (2012): 113-31. Print.

 The pitch: what motivates the Millennial generation to make ethical consumption choices

 Bucic, Harris, and Arli survey ethical consumption practices of Millennial generation consumers in both developed and developing countries. They find that “social positive motivations” or perceived social benefits of cause-related marketing (CRM)generally have the strongest influence on the consumption choices of Millennials. However, they also argue that the Millenial generation is divided into subgroups that differ in the extent of their response to CRM.

Easterly, William. “Planners Versus Searchers.” The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest have done so Much Ill and so Little Good. New York: Penguin, 2006. 3-33. Print.

The pitch:  a framework for understanding global poverty action in the 21st century

 William Easterly describes a bottom-up approach to development that designs a plan of action based on specific problems within a community as opposed to the top-down system of development proposed by Jeffrey Sachs [see Sachs entry below].  He argues that more people, including the poor, are capable of becoming  “searchers” or people who develop their own communities by learning from the methods of others.

Jenkins, Rhys. “Globalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and Poverty.” International Affairs 81.3 (2005): 525-40. Print.

 The pitch: CSR’s past, present, and future

 Jenkins describes how CSR had become popular in the conversations of development agencies and the United Nations. In doing so, this study analyzes the various frames in which the poor are positioned in this system (as producers, consumers, and beneficiaries) and the limited extent of CSR’s impact and opportunities.

Jhally, Sut. “Advertising as Religion: The Dialectic of Technology and Magic.” Cultural Politics in Contemporary America. New York: Routledge, 1989. 217-29. Print.

The pitch: Advertising’s appeal to the emotions

Jhally describes the “fetishism” of products that is generated from how advertising is practiced. I cited this article in the American Business page of this website which gives a background on how social responsibility affects business practices.

Katzenstein, James, and Barbara R. Chrispin. “Social Entrepreneurship and a New Model for International Development in the 21st Century.” Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship 16.1 (2011): 87-102. Print.

The pitch: an overview of social entrepreneurship

 Katzenstein and Chrispin analyze the model of social entrepreneurship and juxtapose this “bottom-up” system against the idea of “top-down” international aid. They then apply this analysis to their own fieldwork dealing with health care in Tanzania and Cameroon, Africa.

Marshall, R. “Conceptualizing the International for-Profit Social Entrepreneur.” Journal of Business Ethics 98.2 (2011): 183-98. Print.

The pitch: the International for-profit social entrepreneur

Marshall uses three case studies to propose a business model supporting the “international for-profit social entrepreneur (IFPSE)”  which he argues to be its own category.

Muller, Alan, and Roman Kräussl. “The Value of Corporate Philanthropy during Times of Crisis: The Sensegiving Effect of Employee Involvement.” Journal of Business Ethics 103.2 (2011): 203-20. Print.

The pitch: Charity from the eye of the investors

Alan and Roman investigate how the communication surrounding the Fortune 500 companies’ relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 affected the reaction of business investors on the company. They find that firms try to make their relief efforts relevant to the company and their stakeholders by publicizing employee involvement in the relief efforts, but doing so undermines the management’s ability to strategize and manipulate their philanthropic actions.

Murphy, Patrick, and Susan Coombes. “A Model of Social Entrepreneurial Discovery.” Journal of Business Ethics 87.3 (2009): 325-36. Print.

The pitch: social entrepreneurship theory

 Murphy and Coombes propose a model of social entrepreneurship that frames this sector as an extension of Corporate Social Responsibility. The authors do this in response to the idea that social entrepreneurship theory lags behind its practice – a situation that Entrepreneurship Professor Walske also explained in my interview with her.

Prieto-Carrón, Marina, et al. “Critical Perspectives on CSR and Development: What we Know, what we Don’t Know, and what we Need to Know.” International Affairs 82.5 (2006): 977-87. Print.

 The pitch: CSR from the view of the people

 Experts on CSR from five different countries come together in this article to critically analyze the model of CSR from a “‘people-centered’ perspective.” The researchers argue that most discussions of CSR focus only on the business aspect of it, and they aim to provide an alternative to this view.

Sachs, Jeffrey. “Why some Countries Fail to Thrive.” The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time. New York: Penguin, 2005. 51-73. Print.

The pitch: a framework for understanding global poverty action in the 21st century

Jeffrey Sachs attributes the problems hindering people from getting out of poverty to structural factors beyond the control of a household. He argues that these factors leave countries in a “poverty trap” that stop them from climbing his metaphorical ladder of development, and that these poor nations need the help of wealthier countries to get them out of that trap so that the former are given the chance to thrive on their own.

Silver, Ira, and Mary-Ellen Boyle. “Constructing Problems by Promoting Solutions: Corporate Advertisements about U.S. Poverty.” Journal of Poverty 14.3 (2010): 347-67. Print.

The pitch: the power of ads in shaping perceptions of social issues

Silver and Boyle look at the corporate advertisements in Time and Newsweek magazines to understand how these ads represent social issues. They find that these ads typically shape perceptions of poverty through promotion of short-term solutions to these problems that ignore the structural causes of poverty, and that do not interfere with corporate practices.

Smith, Brett R., Maria L. Cronley, and Terri F. Barr. “Funding Implications of Social Enterprise: The Role of Mission Consistency, Entrepreneurial Competence, and Attitude Toward Social Enterprise on Donor Behavior.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 31.1 (2012): 142-57. Print.

The pitch: Social enterprises – risky business for donors

In this study, the authors attempt to analyze the relationship of social enterprises -or non-profits engaging in commercial activity- and donor behavior. They find that there is an inverse relationship between the two activities, but the donor’s perceptions of the organization could also shift depending on their preconceptions of the enterprise or the success of these efforts.

Smith, N. C., Guido Palazzo, and C. B. Bhattacharya. “Marketing’s Consequences: Stakeholder Marketing and Supply Chain Corporate Social Responsibility Issues.” Business Ethics Quarterly 20.4 (2010): 617-41. Print.

The pitch: CSR as a marketing cover-up

Smith, Palazzo, and Bhattacharya discuss consumer choices that indirectly harm the society at large through their influence on business marketing and the support of harmful supply chain practices. In response, they analyze Corporate Social Responsibility as a marketing solution to this problem that is also criticized and complicated by the globalization of production.