Assignments

Interviews

Recorded interviews can be found on the MLP Resources page.

Assignment 1

Write down your thoughts on the simulations while they are fresh in your memory. Consider three levels. What happened at the simulation; your psychological reactions in terms of feelings, decision-making and perceptions of others to name a few things, your overall understanding of poverty from the simulation as well as the assigned book, Nickel and Dimed. It would be useful if you can write down your thoughts while they are fresh in your memory.

 

Assignment 2

Take the interview assigned to you and write out a profile of the individual in first person. The idea is to cover all four interviewees across assignments. Note that you are now part of the research team which comes with some responsibilities; these interviews should not be distributed to anyone by you and should be considered completely confidential.

DIARY ENTRY – Your first person profile and your broader impression of living in subsistence. Note that we are not focusing on the economic realm as in product and market interactions just yet. It is more on lives and living in subsistence.

  • Focus not just on the economic realm as in product and market interactions but more on life circumstances in subsistence where the marketplace is one part.
  • Identify key life-changing circumstances.
  • Reflect on what you learned about living in poverty – i.e., the types and nature of challenges.

 

Assignment 3

Read two more interviews covering buyers and sellers.

  • A comparison of people in the total of three interviews.
  • A synopsis based on your inferences and interpretations of all three interviews.
  • A broader discussion of poverty based on three interviews.

Take the assignment in any direction you wish, highlight turning points in lives, etc.

 

Assignment 4

Begin to abstract across interviews to build conceptual maps or big pictures.
Any form is fine.

  • Causal diagram with boxes (with large category titles and a list of factors) and arrows supported by text.
    A collage.
  • A more organic model.
  • Conceptual maps should be about people’s lives rather than purely economic.
  • Model of individual, family, social, economic, other factors and how they affect daily behaviors for example.
  • Some antecedents and some outcomes.
  • Model of how skills develop.

Take an angle and build a broader understanding beyond the individual interviews.
Form a group of 4 with people in class you don’t know.

 

Ecology Videos

Assignment 6

View the videos on ecological issues in urban and rural subsistence contexts. Examine the intersection of subsistence and ecology.

  • What are the unique ecological issues that subsistence marketplaces face?
  • How does this affect their daily lives?
  • What are some directions to take to find solutions?
  • Be as creative as you wish to be, brining in images and providing insights.
  • The questions above are merely examples – take the assignment in any direction you wish.

 

Day in the Life

Assignment 7

View the Day in the Life Videos. Complete the following assignments for each video.

Same as Assignment 5:

  • Focus on buyers, sellers, needs, products, and markets Read remaining if any of all five interviews.
  • As a newly formed group, develop model that captures categories of needs, categories of products that satisfy these needs, and market interactions.
  • If you wish to display additional elements beyond these three circles that help express yourself, please do so.
  • Categorize needs as you see fit, ranging from the physiological to the spiritual.

Same as Assignment 6:

View the videos on ecological issues in urban and rural subsistence contexts. Examine the intersection of subsistence and ecology.

  • What are the unique ecological issues that subsistence marketplaces face?
  • How does this affect their daily lives?
  • What are some directions to take to find solutions?
  • Be as creative as you wish to be, bringing in images and providing insights.

The questions above are merely examples – Take the assignment in any direction you wish.

 

Analysis of Readings

Assignment 8

Readings:

  1. Viswanathan, Madhubalan, Jose Antonio Rosa, and James Harris (2005), “Decision-Making and Coping by Functionally Illiterate Consumers and Some Implications for Marketing Management,”Journal of Marketing, 69(1), 15-31.
  2. Viswanathan, Madhubalan (2007), “Understanding Product and Market Interactions in Subsistence Marketplaces: A Study in South India,” in Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces: Consumption and Entrepreneurship Beyond Literacy and Resource Barriers, Editors, Jose Rosa and Madhu Viswanathan, Advances in International Management Series, Joseph Cheng and Michael Hitt, Series Editors, 21-57, Elsevier.

Read the two papers, one on the US and one on India, both for substantive content and for the method used. You will see how qualitative research (which you will be doing) is presented and you will see that your interpretation of the first few weeks have been very much in the mode of qualitative analysis. Provide bullet point responses; each bullet point can be 2-3 sentences.

  • One paper provides the product portfolio for the typical low income household. The updated table shows a more recent estimate from 2009 and then from 2011.
    • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the poverty model you developed?
    • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the ecological model you developed?
    • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the needs/products/markets model you developed?
  • The second paper is on thinking, feeling, and coping. Set in a US context, it is a very useful paper.
    • 1 bullet point on aspects of thinking you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of thinking described in the paper.
    • 1 bullet point on aspects of feeling you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of feeling described in the paper.
      1 bullet point on aspects of coping you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of coping described in the paper.
  • Finally, in comparing the two papers:
    • 1 bullet point on similarities between low-literate, low-income US consumers and Indian subsistence consumers.
    • 1 bullet point on differences between low-literate, low-income US consumers and Indian subsistence consumers.

Assignment 9

Reading:

Viswanathan, Madhubalan, Srinivas Sridharan, Robin Ritchie, Srinivas Venugopal, and Kiju Jung, “Marketing Interactions in Subsistence Marketplaces: A Bottom-Up Approach to Designing Public Policy,”Forthcoming, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.

For the assigned paper, submit the following bullet points.
  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of transactions or exchanges.
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of transactions or exchanges you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the paper.
  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of the interactional environment.
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of the interactional environment you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the paper.
  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of the larger context.
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of the larger context you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the paper.

 

Assignment 10

Reading: Viswanathan, Madhubalan, Jose Antonio Rosa, and Julie Ruth, “Exchanges in Marketing Systems: The Case of Subsistence Consumer Merchants in Chennai, India,”Journal of Marketing (Lead article), 74 (May), 1-18.
For the assigned paper, submit the following bullet points.
  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence entrepreneur from the reading that you did not know before.
  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence consumer from the reading that you did not know before.
  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence entrepreneur ecosystem from the reading that you did not know before.

Assignment 11

Readings:
  1. Viswanathan, Madhu (2011), “Consumer Behavior Across Literacy and Resource Barriers,” in Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing, Volume 3 – Consumer Behavior, Richard Bagozzi and Ayalla A. Ruvio, Volume Editors, Jagdish N. Sheth and Naresh K. Malhotra, Editors in Chief, 44-54.
  2. Viswanathan, Madhubalan (2010), “A Micro-Level Approach to Understanding BoP Markets,” Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value, Editors, Ted London and Stuart Hart, FT Press.
For “Consumer Behavior Across Literacy and Resource Barriers:”
  • 1 bullet point on a fundamental similarity between US low-literate, low-income consumers and Indian subsistence consumers not covered in any of the papers to date.
  • 1 bullet point on a fundamental difference between US low-literate, low-income consumers and Indian subsistence consumers not covered in any of the papers to date.

Abstract to an appropriate level rather than point to very concrete differences or similarities.

For “A Micro-Level Approach to Understanding BoP Markets:”

  • 1 bullet point that summarizes the essence of what you have learned about subsistence consumers and their difference from middle class US consumers.
  • 1 bullet point that summarizes the essence of what you have learned about subsistence entrepreneurs and their difference from middle class US entrepreneurs.

 

Assignment 12

Reading: Viswanathan, Madhubalan, Roland Gau, and Avinish Chaturvedi (2008), “Research Methods for Subsistence Marketplaces,” inSustainability Challenges and Solutions at the Base-of-the-Pyramid: Business, Technology and the Poor, Editors Prabhu Khandachar and Minna Halme, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK, 242-260.
We should get the first push on the emersion diary. Two bullet points of what emerged here in terms of new concepts, the customization of concepts you already knew in your core discipline, and other disciplines? Put differently, how has your understanding of subsistence changed the way you think about your discipline and related disciplines (e.g., marketing and business in general)? Provide specific examples of concepts that need rethinking.Read the assigned paper and prepare two bullet points of 2-3 sentences each on the insights from this for your own field research for your specific projects.

Assignment 13

Reading: Viswanathan, Madhubalan, Srinivas Sridharan, Roland Gau, and Robin Ritchie (2009) “Designing Marketplace Literacy Education in Resource-Constrained Contexts: Implications for Public Policy and Marketing,” Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 28 (1), 85–94.
A. Based on reading – Two bullet points on how lessons from marketplace literacy impact your thinking on your project.B. One bullet point to add to our discussion of group dynamics and emotional intelligence – they are your insights of what helps you the most in this realm.

C. View the movie and prepare one bullet point of what you learned that was new and 1 bullet point on how it impacts your project.

Assignment 14

Readings:
  1. Ch. 6: Concept Generation
    Ulrich, Karl T. & Steven D. Eppinger. “Ch. 6: Concept Generation.” Product Design and Development. McGraw-Hill, 2008. 97-122.
  2. Ch. 7: Concept Selection
    Ulrich, Karl T. & Steven D. Eppinger. “Ch. 7: Concept Selection.” Product Design and Development. McGraw-Hill, 2008. 123-141.
  3. Ch. 5: Idea Generation
    Urban, Glen L. and John R. Hauser. “Ch. 5: Idea Generation.” Design and Marketing of New Products. Prentice Hall, 1993. 117-1183.

Analysis of Book Chapters

For all readings, please refer to the Subsistence Marketplaces eBook.

Assignment 8

Reading: Chapters 2, 4

Please provide bullet-point responses on the following readings:

A. Chapter 2 provides the product portfolio for the typical low income household. The updated table shows a more recent estimate from 2009 and then from 2011.

  • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the poverty model you developed?
  • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the ecological model you developed?
  • 1 bullet point – How this reading would modify the needs/products/markets model you developed?

B. Chapter 4 covers thinking, feeling, and coping.

  • 1 bullet point on aspects of thinking you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of thinking described in the reading.
  • 1 bullet point on aspects of feeling you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of feeling described in the reading.
  • 1 bullet point on aspects of coping you read about that you may have engaged in during the poverty simulation – – provide an example of what you did and why it fits that type of coping described in the reading.

C. Finally:

  • 1 bullet point on similarities between low-literate, low-income US consumers and Indian subsistence consumers.
  • 1 bullet point on differences between low-literate, low-income US consumers and Indian subsistence consumers.

 

Assignment 9

Reading: Chapter 6

Please submit the following bullet points:

  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of transactions or exchanges
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of transactions or exchanges you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the reading
  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of the interactional environment
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of the interactional environment you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the reading
  • 1 bullet point on an example from an interview you read that illustrates an element of the larger context
  • 1 bullet point on a unique element of the larger context you noticed from interviews in addition to those in the reading

 

Assignment 10

Reading: Chapter 3

Please submit the following bullet points:

  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence entrepreneur from the reading that you did not know before
  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence consumer from the reading that you did not know before
  • 1 bullet point on something new you learned about the subsistence entrepreneur ecosystem from the reading that you did not know before

 

Assignment 11

Reading: Chapter 5 & Section I Summary

Please submit the following bullet points:

  • The most surprising insight in Chapter 5
  • A key insight NOT covered in Chapter 5
  • The most surprising insight in the Section I Summary
  • A key insight about subsistence marketplaces NOT covered in the Section I Summary

 

Assignment 12

Reading: Chapter 10

Submit 3 bullet points on application to your project.

 

Assignment 13

Reading: Chapter 9 & Section II Summary

Bullet points not needed, but timely for your projects.