Institutional entrepreneurship in Zambian markets: The case of Zambia National Marketeers Association

Marcus Møller Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the face of private sector development, an interesting academic field of literature is the one of institutional entrepreneurship which considers organisations and individuals as endogenous factors to institutional change. However, while this field has predominantly been occupied with empirical cases from developed country contexts, the imperfect institutional frameworks that characterise many developing countries offer a unique ground for further developing this literature. Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA) is a non-profit association representing marketeers (market vendors) in Zambia who are among the most vulnerable employment groups in the country. It was established in 1999 with the mandate to nurture and promote marketeers‟ interest and welfare. Among the services it provides for its members, the following can be mentioned: market maintenance and upgrading, collateral bargaining with local and national authorities, and soft-loan schemes at competitive prices. Through a single-case of ZANAMA, the master thesis abductively investigates the following research question – How do marketeers associations in Zambia, through their institutional entrepreneurship, contribute to the private sector development in the Zambian markets? Based on this, it has a two-folded knowledge purpose: On the one hand, it wants to explore institutional entrepreneurship in Zambian markets; an area that has thus far received little academic attention. On the other, it is intended to theoretically explain how the Zambian marketeers associations, through their institutional entrepreneurship, contribute to the private sector development in Zambian markets. In answering the research question, a theoretical framework consisting of the variables organisational effectiveness, institutional entrepreneurship and private sector development is constructed based on two underlying hypotheses. The framework is then tested on the case of ZANAMA according to a hypothetical-deductive approach. The thesis concludes that the level of Zambian marketeers associations‟ effectiveness has a direct impact on their institutional entrepreneurship, which, in turn, covariates positively with their contributions to the private sector development in the Zambian markets when supported by an enabling operating context. It also points to the fact that effective marketeers associations rather provide new institutions for their members faced with severe institutional voids instead of influencing already established ones.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages96