The author makes use of the sociological literature on organizations to answer the question of how a development bank can fulfil its public mandate of promoting industrialization under the conditions of uncertainty typical for many countries trying to catch up economically. With references to the internationally active German development bank KfW, the author comes to the conclusion that development banks can successfully pursue their mission, even under conditions of uncertainty, if their board includes stakeholders beyond the government, if they can diversify their sources of capital, and if they strengthen their own knowledge in creating and learning capacities. These measures could increase their input as well as output legitimacy and thereby strengthen their standing in society.
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