Is employee-client matching good for firms targeting the bottom of the pyramid?

Dear Colleagues,

I have for long been thinking about the two following questions: Who should a firm hire when targeting clients at the bottom of the pyramid? Should it hire employees from the same social strata as its clients or would it be beneficial to have employees from higher or lower social strata than its clients? Of course I have always wanted to hire employees from the same or lower social strata, but is my preference supported with performance data? Finally we have found time to study these questions and unfortunately I am not so happy about our empirical results:

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland,
Professor/Director PhD program,
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder

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