The financial services industry around the world has received increased public, political and academic attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 which laid bare the vulnerabilities of economies and societies to the sector. In Africa, where the financial system is relatively underdeveloped the impact of the crisis was not severe, and there has been optimism about the positive role financial firms can play in increasing access to personal credit for and supporting economic growth and development (Nartey, 2015). Indeed, there has been impressive growth and expansion of the financial sector across the region. From commercial banking to insurance and capital markets, many domestic and cross-border challenger firms have emerged over the last decade, transforming the competitive landscape.
Although a burgeoning literature on the financial industry in Africa is emerging, there are still gaps in our understanding of the management implications of the transformation that has occurred over the last decade. The few extant studies have focused on the so-called pan-African banks, regional players that have experienced a phenomenal ten-fold increase in their international expansion since 1990 (Boojihawon and Acholonu, 2013). These regional giants are outnumbering and outcompeting the established colonial and Western banks that have historically dominated cross-border banking in Africa (Adeleye, Ngwu, Iheanachor, Esho, Oji, Onaji-Benson and Ogbechie, 2018); of the estimated 100 cross-border banks in the region, for example, about two thirds are of African origin (Beck, Fuchs, Singer and Witte, 2014).
As Boso, Adeleye and White (2016) recommend, there is a need for more research to improve our understanding of the drivers, location determinants, market entry modes and motives of these internationalizing banks. It is also important to examine how these pan-African banks overcome the liabilities (for example, of foreignness, country of origin, smallness and newness) when expanding to other African countries (Ngwu, Adeleye and Ogbechie, 2015). There is especially a need to explore socio-cultural and geopolitical variables that may hinder intra-African expansion, as these antecedents are often overlooked by financial firms (Nartey, 2015). In sum, there is a need for more studies to analyze the international behavior of African financial institutions, as well as the management implications of their cross-border expansion; for example, the role of top management teams and CEOs (Gentile-Lüdecke, Halaszovich and Lundan, 2017), impact on competitive dynamics and strategies (Leon, 2016) and human resource management strategies (Newenham-Kahindi, 2011). It is also important to understand how the changing competitive landscape is impacting on the performance and strategies of multinational banks in Africa (Nachum and Ogbechie, 2016), and the factors that impact on foreign direct investment and entry of global banks into the region (Adams, Debrah, Williams and Mmieh, 2015).
Perhaps more importantly, given the relative paucity of research in this area, there is a need for studies that examine management issues and strategies adopted by financial institutions in their domestic or national markets. These include multi-disciplinary perspectives covering corporate responsibility issues (Amaeshi, Adeleye and Amao, 2015), historical perspectives (Verhoef, 2017), as well as coverage of human resource management, sustainability, marketing, corporate governance, regulatory, and strategic management issues.
Whether they are domestic, pan-African or multinational financial organizations, one of the critical objectives of this special issue is to understand when, how and how much management matters in banking and financial institutions in Africa. In other words, to what extent, if any, do differences in management practices across firms explain performance and productivity gaps in the financial services sector?
Possible Themes & Topics
We welcome conceptual, theoretical and empirical (both qualitative and quantitative) papers that advance our understanding of the management of banking and financial institutions in Africa. Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Competitive Rivalry and Strategies of BFIs
- Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions in Financial Services
- Human Capital Management in BFIs
- Leadership and Change Management in BFIs
- Management Implications of the Internationalization of African BFIs
- Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Banks Operations’ in Africa
- Ethics and CSR Issues in Financial Sector
- Sustainable Banking and Financial Inclusion
- Financial Technology and Digital Innovation
- Financial Services Marketing and Brand/Reputation Management
- Corporate Governance and Board Effectiveness in Financial Sector
- Financial Regulation and Compliance
- High-Impact Entrepreneurship in Banking
- Historical Perspectives on Financial Services
- The Future of Banking and Financial Services in Africa
Submission Guidelines & Process
Authors are encouraged (but not required) to submit a 500-word abstract and outline to Dr. Ifedapo Adeleye via email by April 30, 2018. Notification of abstract acceptance will be done by May 31, 2018. Please note that acceptance of abstracts does not guarantee inclusion in the Special Issue as all full paper submissions will still be subjected to double blind peer review.
Questions about the special issue may be directed to any of the Guest Editors.
Adams, K., Debrah, Y. A., Williams, K., & Mmieh, F. (2015). Why on earth should foreign banks invest in Africa’s financial services sector? Evidence from financial multinationals in Ghana. Thunderbird International Business Review, 57(6), 445–462.
Adeleye, I., Ngwu, F., Iheanachor, N., Esho, E., Oji, C., Onaji-Benson, T. and Ogbechie, C. (2018). Banking on Africa: Can Emerging Pan-African Banks Outcompete their Global Rivals?, in I. Adeleye and M. Esposito, (Eds) Africa’s Competitiveness in the Global Economy. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 113–136.
Amaeshi, K., Adeleye, I., and Amao, O. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Relations in Africa: Evidence from the Nigerian Banking Sector, in S. Nwankwo and K. Ibeh (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Business in Africa. London and New York: Routledge, pp 473–493.
Beck, T., Fuchs, M., Singer, D., & Witte, M. (2014). Making Cross-border Banking Work for Africa. Eschborn, Germany: GIZ.
Boojihawon, D. K., and Acholonu, K. K. (2013). Internationalization process of African banks: An exploratory study. African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 4(2), 244–266.
Boso, N., Adeleye, I., and White, L. (2016). Africa-to-Africa Internationalization: Emerging Trends and Key Issues, in I. Adeleye, L. White and N. Boso (Eds) Africa-to-Africa Internationalization: Key Issues and Outcomes. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 3–34.
Gentile-Lüdecke, S., Halaszovich, T., and Lundan, S. (2017). What role does CEO vision play in the internationalization process of firms? Evidence from the banking sector in Africa. Thunderbird International Business Review, 1–15.
Leon, F. (2016). Does the Expansion of Regional Cross-Border Banks Affect Competition in Africa? Indirect Evidence, Research in International Business and Finance, 37: 66–77.
Nachum, L. and Ogbechie, C. (2016). Where Have Foreign Banks in Nigeria Gone? The Impact of Local Competitors on MNEs Strategic Choices and Outcomes. Available online at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3001552.
Nartey, L. (2015). Banking and the Financial Sector, in T. McNamee, M. Pearson, W. Boer (Eds) Africans Investing in Africa: Understanding Business and Trade, Sector by Sector. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 103–123.
Newenham-Kahindi, A. (2011). Human resource strategies for managing back-office employees in subsidiary operations: The case of two investment multinational banks in Tanzania, Journal of World Business, 46: 13–21.
Ngwu, F., Adeleye, I., and Ogbechie, C. (2015). Africa-to-Africa Internationalization: Rhetoric, Reality and Risks of Intra-African Regional Expansion, in S. Nwankwo and K. Ibeh (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Business in Africa. London and New York: Routledge, pp 9–31.
Verhoef, G. (2017). The Rise of Financial Services in Africa: An Historical Perspective, in Dana T. Redford (Ed.) Developing Africa’s Financial Services. Bingley: Emerald, pp 3–42.