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Published by:
Ivey Publishing (2016)
Revision date:
12 pages
Data source:
Field research


In the fall of 2013, the family-owned Martin Bauer Group, a German-based company and world leader in the business-to-business market for tea and herbal extracts, became interested in the idea of collaborating with the frugal innovation company EinDollarBrille (OneDollarGlasses). The Martin Bauer Group was engaged in multifaceted corporate social responsibility activities, both domestically and abroad. Specifically, it fostered the development and diffusion of frugal innovations, which were affordable products or services developed under strict financial constraints to cater to low-income individuals in emerging markets. These companies usually worked in collaboration with partners. One such frugal innovation company, OneDollarGlasses, created durable, yet affordable, eyeglasses for people in the African country of Sudan, a prime sourcing market for the Martin Bauer Group. The work of OneDollarGlasses illustrated the reasons, motivations, and challenges that innovators often faced within developed and emerging markets when engaging in corporate social responsibility activities. Should The Martin Bauer Group work with OneDollarGlasses? Could the company be helpful and make a meaningful difference to the people in emerging markets by collaborating with frugal innovators like OneDollarGlasses? What benefits would there be for the Martin Bauer Group if they do?


CSR; Family firms; Emerging markets; der Mittelstand; Eye care; Clinical services; Glasses; Innovation; Roleplay; Dialogue; Non-profit; NGO; Public relations; General management/strategy; Entrepreneurship; International
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2016 - EFMD Case Writing Competition - category winner

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