RRBM Honor Roll

The RRBM Honor Roll publications have been selected as examples of research that is both rigorous and relevant. The listing below offers credible insights for society.

These publications have been selected for the RRBM Honor Roll by the Selection Board with the exception of 2019 articles selected by a pre-test review panel.


Nature of the publicationJournal article
Title of the publicationHow do intermediaries build inclusive markets? The role of the social context
Journal name/Book publisherJournal of Management Studies

Intermediaries play an important role in building inclusive markets. However, we know little about how the specific characteristics of the social context influence the effectiveness of intermediary activities. The purpose of this study is to unpack how the fit between intermediaries’ activities and the social context shapes the success of efforts to build inclusive markets. This engaged responsible research provides innovative and actionable theoretical insights on how responsible intermediaries build inclusive markets in the face of the subjugation of marginalized groups by dominant groups. Our innovative framework identifies two key characteristics of village life that influence how inclusive markets are built by social intermediaries. The first is social inequality, or the relative difference in social standing between the dominant and marginalized groups in the village. The second is dependence – the degree to which the marginalized group is dependent on the dominant group for social and economic activity. Responsible intermediaries have the most flexibility when inequality is relatively low (because everyone is poor) and when dependence between groups is also low. In these circumstances, the social intermediary has a considerable amount of leverage in the village. We found that responsible intermediaries could form 'beneficiary' groups relatively quickly. As they sought to build capabilities within the village, they could include marginalized groups over the opposition of the dominant group. They could also insist on new norms (such as allowing women to speak) as a condition of the social intermediaries' activities in the village. In stark contrast, villages with high inequality and high dependence created many more challenges for social intermediaries' efforts. Responsible intermediaries that sought to immediately train lower caste members were simply 'chased' from the village. Efforts to change social norms were met with extreme resistance. In these cases, successful, responsible intermediaries engaged in what we term prolonged persuasion in which they worked for years to build trust and slowly introduce more inclusive social norms. These responsible intermediaries often had to begin working with the village in an indirect way and started with community projects such as reforestation rather than training sessions that would benefit individuals. Through these slow and deliberate efforts, they were able to introduce some meaningful changes. These findings have implications for development agencies, NGOs, and other social intermediaries that engage with marginalized communities throughout the world. This engaged responsible research was conducted by a multidisciplinary team (development studies, information systems, and entrepreneurship) through rigorous, long-term fieldwork to provide practical insights. A wide range of stakeholders was engaged during the entire duration of the research to receive a plurality of views and reach triangulation

Author #1Babita Bhatt
Affiliation Author #1Australian National University
Author #2Israr Qureshi
Affiliation Author #2Australian National University
Author #3Christopher Sutter
Affiliation Author #3Miami University