Dissertation: Promoting Performance Culture in Organizations Enhancing Sustainable Organizational Productivity of SME's in Gambia

Pages: 46 (12705 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Economics  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … independence less than half a century ago, the Gambia stands at a vital crossroads in its brief history as a nation today. On the one hand, the Gambia enjoys the natural beauty, friendly people, low cost of living and geographic proximity to Europe to make it a desirable tourist destination, particularly for those who are interested in so-called eco-tourism. On the other hand, though, the Gambia lacks many of the natural resources that have helped similarly situated countries become economically viable in an increasingly globalized marketplace. Indeed, a majority of the nation's citizenry is still heavily dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, and literacy rates in the Gambia remain dismally low. In this environment, identifying opportunities for promoting a performance culture in Gambian organisations to improve organizational productivity represents a timely and valuable enterprise. To this end, this study provides a review of the relevant juried and scholarly literature together with the findings of a survey of Gambian business leaders to identify the most pressing priorities for developing the nation's infrastructure and sustainable organizational productivity. A synthesis of the study's findings is presented in tabular, graphic and narrative form to develop a list of priorities and recommendations for policymakers in the Gambia today. Based on the desperate needs of the Gambian people to develop sustainable organizational practices that will help their country better compete in the international marketplace, this study clearly represents a legitimate form of scholarship that directly relates to organisational behaviour as a field of study. This study demonstrates that it is possible to facilitate this integration by identifying what organizational productivity approaches work best in other countries and applying these best practices to the situation in Gambia in a culturally sensitive fashion.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of Study

Importance of Study

Scope of Study

Rationale of Study

Overview of Study

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter 3: Methodology

Description of the Study Approach

Data-gathering Method and Database of Study

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Promoting Performance Culture in Organisations: Enhancing Sustainable Organisational Productivity of Small- to Medium-Sized Enterprises in Gambia

Chapter 1: Introduction

Today, the Republic of the Gambia (hereinafter "The Gambia," or alternatively, "Gambia") is the smallest country on the African continent, and the country is almost entirely surrounded by Senegal along the River Gambia (see political map of the Gambia in Figure 1 in Chapter 2 below) (Gambia 2008). In fact, the only other African country that covers a smaller land area that the Gambia is the Seychelles, which consist of a group of islands off the eastern coast (Gambia 2008). The country's capital is the port city of Banjul, which is also the only seaport; however, Serrekunda is a transportation hub and commercial center as well as being the country's largest city (National Day of Gambia 2009). Notwithstanding its small geographic size, the Gambia is densely populated with approximately 1.7 million residents (Gambia 2008). The country achieved independence from the United Kingdom less than half a century ago in 1965; later, the Gambia established a federation with Senegal in 1982, a move that assisted in returning the country's first post-independence leader, Sir Dawda Jawara, to office following a successful coup in 1981 (Gambia 2008).

The goal of the Senegambia federation that was created in 1981 was to consolidate the two countries' military forces as well as to unify their economies and currencies; however, following a series of disappointments in achieving these goals, the federation was abolished by the Gambia in 1989 and relationships between the two countries have remained strained to some degree since that time (Gambia 2008). Although it was the most affluent country in Africa at the time of its independence, the Gambia has suffered from the effects of mismanagement and some well-intentioned but misguided developmental initiatives that have created a social and economic quagmire that will require bold action to resolve, a need that directly relates to the problem considered in this study which is discussed further below.

Statement of the Problem

Today, the Gambia stands at a crossroads in his economic development. Despite attempts at diversification, the Gambia's economy remains overwhelmingly dependent on the export of peanuts and their byproducts and the re-exporting of imported foreign goods to other African nations. About three quarters of the population is employed in agriculture (the Gambia 2009). The Gambia has no significant natural resources, and its small size poses a limit to agricultural activity. Agriculture is very unproductive, with 70% of the population employed in this sector even though it generates only about a third of the country's GDP (Gambia 2009). A statistical breakdown of economic sectors (2008) shows the following respective GDP contributions in Table 1 and Figure 1 below:

Table 1

Key Economic Sector Contributions to the Gambian GDP

Economic Sector

Percentage Contribution to GDP

Agriculture

33%

Services (Trading, Banking, Telecoms, Insurance, Tourism etc.)

58.7%

Industry

8.7%

Figure 1. Key Economic Sector Contributions to the Gambian GDP

Source: Based on tabular data in Gambia 2009

As can be seen in Table 1 and Figure 1 above, although agriculture occupies fully three-quarters of the country's workforce, it only accounts for a third of the contribution to the Gambian GDP. In the agricultural sector, the primary cash crop continues to be groundnuts, especially peanuts, representing approximately 7% of the Gambian GDP (Gambia 2009). Re-exports from the Gambia account for the most important form of economic activity currently, a legacy that remains from country's previous status as a regional shipping hub; however, the re-export sector has experienced downturns following the implementation of regulations that made inspections of shipments more difficult in 1999 and the when the country's currency, the dalasi (GMD), also experienced instability (Gambia 2009). The country's tourism sector has also experienced significant growth in recent years, but like much of the other economic development that has taken place in the country, these growth patterns do not reflect a truly accurate picture taken in isolation from the fact that this growth has been from a miniscule base; nevertheless, the Gambia is regarded as being a safer tourist destination than many other regions in West Africa, a factor that when combined with the country's more favorable climate and excellent Atlantic coast beaches indicates that the tourism sector will continue to grow in importance in the future (Gambia 2009). Indeed, in spite of a poorly developed infrastructure and minimal air connections, the Gambia's tourism industry has become one of the primary drivers of economic growth in recent years; although this sector experienced a downturn following the 1994 military coup, is has regained its importance together with construction and telecommunications (Gambia 2009). One aspect of the country's infrastructure that clearly needs more attention is value-added production, with manufacturing remaining largely of low value-added production (e.g., processing of groundnuts, fish and hide tanning); other crops such as rice, millet, sorghum, corn, and cassava are cultivated for subsistence purposes together with cattle, sheep, and goats and a modest fishing industry (Gambia 2009).

The main industrial activities in the Gambia are focused on the processing of agricultural products as well as a smattering of light manufacturing enterprises. Besides peanut products, dried and smoked fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, and hides and skins are exported; foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery, and transportation equipment are imported. India, Great Britain, China, and Senegal are the country's leading trading partners. The Gambia is one of the world's poorest nations and relies heavily on foreign aid (Gambia 2009). In addition, since the mid-1970s, significant numbers of Gambians have moved from the countryside to urban regions of the country, with the concomitant result being inordinately high urban unemployment and overburdened services in these areas (the Gambia 2009). A series of weather-related problems during the closing decades of the 20th century also resulted in significant decreases in agricultural production and an increase in inflation (the Gambia 2009).

Economic development in the Gambia will therefore require new ways of thinking and new structural business models that may be disruptive in the short-term but which are essential to ensuring the economic viability of the nation in the future. In this regard, the editors of Management Services (2007) emphasize that, "Economic growth is a state in which the amount of goods and services produced is increasing. Experience shows that the positive development of society depends on economic growth" ("Concepts Related to Productivity," 6). The future of the Gambian people, then, is directly related to what steps are taken today to develop sustainable productivity practices throughout all of the SMEs as well as the micro-enterprises that comprise the majority of the nation's private sector. Indeed, the editors at Management Services conclude that, "The dynamics of the economic process lead, through thriving enterprises, to the overall development of society and the economy; however, there is no automatic mechanism ensuring a balance between economic sectors and regions in the wake of structural change. One of the general tasks of economic policy is to try to avoid - or… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Promoting Performance Culture in Organizations Enhancing Sustainable Organizational Productivity of SME's in Gambia.  (2010, June 12).  Retrieved September 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/promoting-performance-culture-organizations/9069832

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"Promoting Performance Culture in Organizations Enhancing Sustainable Organizational Productivity of SME's in Gambia."  Essaytown.com.  June 12, 2010.  Accessed September 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/promoting-performance-culture-organizations/9069832.