Incorporated Citizens: Multinational High-Tech Companies and the BoP

Anke Schwittay

Abstract


In this article, I examine HP’s e-Inclusion program and its implementation in India to show how the high-tech industry’s efforts to alleviate poverty profitably are guided by C. K. Prahalad’s ideas about the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), and are framed as digital corporate citizenship activities. While the BoP highlights the importance of new markets for high-tech companies, the discourse of digital corporate citizenship creates an enabling environment in which transnational high-tech companies can gain political access to new consumers at the BoP. The resulting digital corporate citizenship/BoP nexus leads to the extension of governments’ bureaucratic reach and the formation of electronic entrepreneurs.

Keywords


e-Inclusion, bottom of the pyramid, Hewlett-Packard

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