Microfinance accountability in Cameroon: A cure or a curse for poverty alleviation?

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Authors: Akanga, F.K.


Journal: Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 112-130

ISSN: 1832-5912

DOI: 10.1108/JAOC-11-2015-0087

© Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose - The purpose of this study is to use empirical findings to identify the different forms of accountability practices existing in Cameroon microfinance institutions (MFIs) and explore how such practices have evolved and institutionalised within the microfinance sector in Cameroon through time. Design/methodology/approach - This study is designed to investigate if the institutionalised accountability practices within the microfinance sector in Cameroon are a cure or a curse for poverty alleviation. This study is based on the new institutional sociology (NIS) and on a case study approach and combines in-depth interviews and secondary data sources. Findings - This study identifies three principal forms of accountability practices common with MFIs in Cameroon: dysfunctional, manipulative and dribbling accountabilities. Originality/value - This paper is novel because it extends the NIS into the microfinance sector and explains how conflicting institutional pressures resulting from differences of accountability practices can be resolved and also exposes the unintended consequences of both resistance and passive actions of local actors on microfinance, the poor and poverty alleviation.

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