East Africa Research Papers in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Management (EARP-BEM)

Public Leadership, Responsibility and the Nigerian Paradox
Albert T. AKUME
EARP-BEM No. 2016:06
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Ideally, in functional societies there is a close connection between public leadership and public responsibility. The strong knitting of these two accounts for a wise and responsive government that seeks to and enhances the welfare of citizens. That, however, is not the case in Nigeria, a society that seems to exhibit an increasing gap between public leadership and public responsibility with ordinary citizens bearing the harsh brunt of the divide. Given this backdrop this paper uses the elite theory to answer the disturbing theoretical question: Why has the Nigerian state continued to espouse a contrasting paradox?

Crowdfunding: The Beliefs of Rwandan Entrepreneurs
Adele BERNDT and Marvin MBASSANA
EARP-BEM No. 2016:05
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Crowdfunding, through the use of Internet platforms, is a relatively recent development that has attracted both interest among entrepreneurs and investors. Recent figures suggest approximately $34.4 billion was raised in 2015, making crowdfunding attractive to entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding in Africa has not received the same level of attention, and thus the purpose of the research was to investigate the beliefs (awareness and knowledge) of Rwandan entrepreneurs towards crowdfunding. This study is important due to the lack of academic research into this phenomenon in Africa and in Rwanda. Understanding the beliefs (awareness and knowledge) of Rwandan entrepreneurs can indicate the potential for crowdfunding for entrepreneurs and their intention to use it as a future financing strategy. Due to the limited research conducted into crowdfunding, this study was exploratory in nature with the use of qualitative methods in order to attain the purpose of the study. Use was made of convenience sampling and in this pilot study, findings from personal interviews with 8 entrepreneurs are reported on. Financial constraints were identified by most of the entrepreneurs as impacting the development of their ventures. The findings show limited knowledge of crowdfunding as a phenomenon and the specific aspects of how it operates. Despite this lack of knowledge, the participants reflected an interest in using crowdfunding, though clarification of the expectations of the entrepreneurs and the investors would be necessary prior to its use. The use of crowdfunding can be considered by entrepreneurs but care would be needed to ensure successful implementation. The study concludes by suggesting implications for entrepreneurs, crowdfunding platforms as well as crowdinvestors who would invest in the various ventures.

Job-Rotation, Utilization of Workshops and Performance of Entrepreneurial Firms in Rwanda: An Empirical Study of SMEs in Gasabo District
EARP-BEM No. 2016:04
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This study addresses an important aspect of building SME entrepreneurial success through human resource development. We specifically study the experiences of manufacturing SMEs in Rwanda to demonstrate the performance implications of using workshops and job-rotation among small entrepreneurial firms. Given its unique commitment in the region for building necessary support for developing enterprises, Rwanda is a particularly interesting context to study this. One hundred and one firms were included in the study drawn from Gasabo, a district in capital Kigali. With the help of a regression analysis, we found support for a positive direct link between job-rotation and SME performance. We, however, did not find a similar result regarding workshops and SME performance. In order to examine the effects of job-rotation and workshops more deeply, we tested for the combined effect of these two practices. Our findings demonstrate the value of workshops when combined with job-rotation among SMEs in our study setting. With these findings, our study demonstrates how local firms and advocates of workshops can effectively use this method to enhance SME performance.

Strategic Innovation in Management of Small and Medium–Sized Manufacturing Companies in Rwanda
EARP-BEM No. 2016:03
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This paper has two objectives: first, to create awareness about the necessity of incorporating strategic innovations in the daily management of SMEs, and two, to understand that this necessity for innovation holds opportunities, if innovations and trends are recognized before competitors so that they can be acted upon rather than reacted to. This paper starts by defining the concept of strategic innovation and discusses some tactics used by SMEs for the successful implementation of strategic innovations, that is, how they cultivate a style of organizational behavior that is comfortable with new ideas, changes, risks and even failures. A purposeful technique is used to select SMEs for interviews; data was collected using self-administered interview guides. The data collected through the interview guides was qualitative and was analyzed thematically using a content analysis which covered how strategic innovations were being implemented through transmission of SMEs’ vision and strategic targets to employees; tolerance of risks, mistakes and failures; degree of decision making by operational staff; and attention to the future through transparency and truth. Creating an innovative culture a SME should make clear it’s vision to all its employees; it should have minimum acceptance of risks, mistakes and failures and more importantly it should learn from those mistakes and failures; it should empower people to take quick decisions and reward any initiative at doing a new thing; and it should always create room for curiosity among employees to know about new things outside their daily work and thus prepare them for innovations.

Assessing the Relationship between Employee Motivation and Productivity in Nyagatare District in Rwanda
Pereez NIMUSIMA and James Francis TUMWINE
EARP-BEM No. 2016:02
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This paper examines the relationship between employee motivation and work productivity in Nyagatare district in Rwanda. The study was guided by the objectives of identifying performance behavior in terms of punctuality, absenteeism, work morale, ability at work and a sense of responsibility among Nyagatare district staff members. This involved finding out the methods of employee motivation that are used and then analyzing the relationship between the level of employee motivation and productivity. A case study approach was followed for this in Nyagatare district. The research design involved the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches to collect and analyze data. The findings demonstrate the existence of a significant and positive relationship between the level of employee motivation and productivity. These results reveal that the better the employees are motivated, the more they are likely to be productive. The study also contributes to an understanding that the more the employees are materially and immaterially rewarded at work, the more they are likely to be productive and consequently achieve their performance targets (they are happy to identify with the district administration and this also reduces absenteeism at work). The results are further supported by the work of Rafikul & Ahmad, (2008) which confirms that the lack of employee motivation within an institution results in the under-utilization of the potential and skills of employees since they feel that their efforts are not being rewarded in a fair fashion

Exploring the Implications of Low-Cost Leadership and Differentiation Strategies in the East African Community Market: A Perspective of Local Firms
EARP-BEM No. 2016:01
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Over the past few decades, East African countries have made tremendous economic, social and political progress and are seeking to consolidate this growth with the formation of the East African Community. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in July 2015 highlighted the competitiveness of local firms in the region as having the potential to contribute to high-value added activities through innovation and entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, there are general concerns as to whether local firms can maintain their competitive advantages in the new environment of economic integration especially with the increasing entry of more resource endowed players from abroad. This conceptual paper explores the capacity of local firms to maintain their competitive edge by evolving into low-cost producers and/or differentiators. Specifically, the paper presents arguments in support of the differentiation strategy being followed by fledgling manufacturing local firms. While recognizing the limitations for local firms along this path, the paper identifies areas from previous research which address the question of upgrading from big emerging markets such as China, India, Argentina and Brazil and suggests areas that can guide future research aimed at helping local firms to be successful differentiators.

Content updated 2017-11-05

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