Alumni profile

Joe Abah

Thesis: Strong Organisations in Weak States, 2012

Promotor(s): Friso den Hertog & Adele Jinadu

Educational background
Master of Arts (Business Law), 1992, London Guildhall University
Bachelor of Laws LL.B. (Hons), 1985, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Professional Qualifications
Barrister and Solicitor, 1986, Supreme Court of Nigeria
Solicitor, 2002, Supreme Court of England and Wales

Research Interest
Although Joe is a lawyer, he has been working in the field of organisational improvement for most of his working life. Joe’s Ph.D. research interest is on how public sector organisations can perform well in dysfunctional environments. Although the environment in many developing countries is not conducive to good public sector performance, some organisations are islands of good performance in a sea of poor/non performance. How do they do it? What roles do national cultures play in creating the dysfunctional nature of the environment? How have successful organisations used the positive aspects of the same national cultures to overcome their dysfunctional environment? The results of the research will provide an insight into how public services could be made to work in developing countries.

Research title:
Strong organizations in weak states
Main research question:
How and why are certain public sector organizations able to achieve atypical performance in dysfunctional environments?
It is generally accepted in the management literature that the institutional environment in which a public sector organization operates affects its ability to deliver its outputs. Therefore, strong governance states will have strong public sector organizations which will deliver good services to the public, and weak governance states will have weak public sector organizations which will deliver poor services to citizens. However, even in the most dysfunctional institutional environments, there are examples of strong public sector organizations that manage to deliver decent services to citizens. This research seeks to understand why and how these organizations come to exist and survive in spite of adverse institutional conditions.

Current employer:
DFID State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability

Job title:
National Programme Manager

Selected publications by Joe Abah