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Institutional Complexity of National Systems and the Fate of Global Microfinance

  • Author / Creator
    Zhao, Yanfei
  • I advance a theory of how institutional complexity of national systems shapes the fate of hybrid organizations. In particular, I investigate how various prevailing societal logics independently and jointly affect the founding and social mission focus of microfinance organizations (MFOs); a form of hybrid organization distinguished by lending to poor people, particularly women. Although the fate of organizational forms and practices is generally linked to that of the cultural frames that support them, I show that logics may act and interact in various ways to shape these outcomes. Drawing on neoliberal economics and gender inequality studies, I identify two logics, market and patriarchy, that are theoretically relevant to microfinance, globally prevalent, and variously influential across countries. I hypothesize and test (1) how market and patriarchy logics independently and interactively shape microfinance founding and the lending focus on women; (2) how the financial performance of an MFO affects its social mission fulfillment and how this effect is contingent upon heterogeneous configurations of market and patriarchy logics across nations; and (3) how the two logics shape capital flows into microfinance. Empirical analyses of these questions are based on a sample of MFOs in 111 developing countries between 1995 and 2007 and data on the funding structure of MFOs between 2007 and 2010. In addition to showing how hybrid organizations in general are affected by institutional complexity, the findings have practical implications for microfinance, where prominent groups promote market logic as a means to grow the sector and expand its outreach.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NV99H83
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Faculty of Business
  • Specialization
    • Strategic Management and Organization
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Lounsbury, Michael (Strategic Management and Organization)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Jennings, P. Devereaux (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Durand, Rodolphe (HEC Paris)
    • Lounsbury, Michael (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Gehman, Joel (Strategy Management and Organization)
    • Greenwood, Royston (Strategic Management and Organization)