Commercial investments and mission drift in microfinance: a qualitative analysis of stakeholder perceptions in Switzerland

Moser, Marc (2013) Commercial investments and mission drift in microfinance: a qualitative analysis of stakeholder perceptions in Switzerland. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

Over the last years, the microfinance sector has become integrated into the formal financial system, exemplified by the growing trend of commercial cross-border investments. At the same time, microfinance has witnessed a number of adverse effects and controversial events in isolated trouble spots, like overindebtedness of
clients, bad lending practices and initial public offerings of microfinance institutions (MFIs), which has aroused criticism. A heated debate has been raised in the community and the wider public about a possible relation between the emergence of profit-oriented international investors and these incidents. As a consequence, the mission drift issue concerned with the inherent balance between social and financial objectives has regained weight. Concentrating on the local microfinance setting, the new investor-related stakeholders predominantly from western industrialized countries have, however, barely received any attention in related scientific research and little is known about them, except for some quantitative information. Against this background, the qualitative research presented in this thesis is an exploratory analysis of stakeholder perceptions in the Swiss microfinance investment network, as one of the leading settings in this context. By applying a single case study design that relies on semi-structured interviews with members of the network and content analysis of relevant secondary data, the overarching objective of this investigation is to give an extensive descriptive account of the microfinance investor setting and the involved stakeholders and thus deepen understanding from a qualitative standpoint. From a theoretical perspective, the study thereby draws on selected concepts of the emerging stakeholder paradigm to establish a guiding conceptual framework. In particular, the value-based notion of stakeholder perceptions and mutual value creation with regard to the motivation of engaging in microfinance as well as the analytical issue-based stakeholder network view markedly inform this research. Accordingly, the guiding research question addressed is: What implications do similarities and differences in perceptions among stakeholders from the Swiss microfinance investment network have for mutual value creation? The findings suggest that common ground regarding fundamental value-based questions such as the motivation to engage in value creation, yet also the diversity of involved stakeholder interests, are central to facilitate superior mutual value creation within and beyond the examined stakeholder network. In addition, the case study vividly shows that mission drift is not directly of concern for investor related stakeholders in microfinance, but nonetheless very prevalent. The results further imply that the enabling country-specific context is part of the explanation for the specific stakeholder networks’ success. Further implications include the need for improved coordination between private and public stakeholders and that closer scientific attention has to be drawn to the key interaction between microfinance asset managers and MFIs.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Supervisors: Millett, Dr Bruce
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2016 03:11
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2016 01:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Switzerland, microfinance, stakeholder, perceptions, commercial, investments
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1502 Banking, Finance and Investment > 150201 Finance
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1502 Banking, Finance and Investment > 150205 Investment and Risk Management
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1502 Banking, Finance and Investment > 150299 Banking, Finance and Investment not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27864

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