Bankers at the gate: Microfinance and the high cost of borrowed logics
In this paper we examine how the interaction between influences of commercial banking and poverty alleviation shaped the evolution of modern microfinance. Using institutional theory as a lens, we observe that the commercial banking logic increasingly displaced the microfinance field's foundational poverty alleviation and development principles over time. We argue that this process of displacement can occur inadvertently as organizations that embody multiple logics draw disproportionately on only one of those logics when developing legitimating accounts of their activity to stakeholders. Furthermore, we introduce the concept of permeability – the extent to which the elements of a logic are ambiguous and loosely coupled – to explain why some logics may be more or less open to the influence of other logics. We conclude by discussing implications for entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation more generally.
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Volume (Year): 28 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Beatriz Armendáriz & Jonathan Morduch, 2010.
"The Economics of Microfinance, Second Edition,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 2, volume 1, number 0262014106, January.
- Beatriz Armendáriz & Jonathan Morduch, 2010. "The Economics of Microfinance, Second Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262513986, January.
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- Hermes, Niels & Lensink, Robert & Meesters, Aljar, 2008. "Outreach and Efficiency of Microfinance Institutions," Research Report 08002, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
- Monzurul Hoque, 2011. "Commercialization and changes in capital structure in microfinance institutions: An innovation or wrong turn?," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 414-425, April.
- Khawari, Aliya, 2004. "Microfinance: Does it hold its promises? A survey of recent literature," HWWA Discussion Papers 276, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
- Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
- Copestake, James, 2007. "Mainstreaming Microfinance: Social Performance Management or Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1721-1738, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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