Date of Conferral







Donna Brown


In the first decade of the 21st century, the number of functioning business organizations in Nigeria decreased by 45%. The high rate of business failures in Nigeria has left many questions about what is needed for creating business success. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the influence of internal and external dynamics on leaders in Nigerian microfinance organizations. Twenty leaders from microfinance institutions participated in face-to-face semistructured interviews. The data analysis process involved the use of Moustakas's modified van Kaam method, which resulted in the emergence of 12 themes. The themes that emerged included: (a) staff turnover, (b) financial fraud, (c) knowledge gap, (d) lack of real-time technology, (e) ethical behavior of leaders, (f) organizational bureaucracy, (g) foreign exchange fluctuation, (h) poor state of Nigerian economy, (i) competition from unethical practices of other organizations, (j) constant changes of government policies and poor regulatory controls, and (k) noncompliance with the Microfinance Policy and Framework by stakeholders. There was a common perception among the participants that there was a need for government intervention in providing improved infrastructure and adequate regulatory controls. The findings provide indications from participants' responses that business success is dependent upon business leaders' effectiveness in their roles and ethical practices as perceived by the followers. The study is significant in that its findings may assist businesses and government to focus on the effectiveness of leaders, increase labor relations, and increase the overall success of business which in turn improve the economy of Nigeria.