A Bottom-Up Approach to Short-Term Immersion in Subsistence Marketplaces: Methodological and Substantive Lessons on Poverty and the Environment From Tanzania

Madhu Viswanathan, Srinivas Venugopal, Ishva Minefee, Jeremy S. Guest, Benito J. Mariñas, Valerie Bauza, Lauren Valentino, Ramadhani Kupaza, Maria Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We discuss an international immersion research experience conducted by an interdisciplinary team of business and environmental engineering students and faculty in Tanzania. Using this experience as “data,” we bring out methodological and substantive issues in studying the intersection of poverty and the environment. The approach we describe is bottom-up, beginning with micro-level details of life circumstances. Such micro-level details are often the most challenging to learn and the most neglected in terms of informing practice. Our work speaks to a number of issues such as organizing a short research immersion for effectiveness and efficiency, covering different units of analysis in terms of individuals, households, communities, village-level leadership, and the outside ecosystem of organizations using a bottom-up approach, and combining natural science analytical testing with social science to focus on the substantive domains of environments in subsistence contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-460
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization and Environment
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • BoP
  • environment
  • immersion
  • interdisciplinary research
  • methodology
  • poverty
  • qualitative research
  • subsistence marketplaces
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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