Candles in the Dark

Successful Organizations in Pakistan’s Weak Institutional Environment
Mahmood Ali Ayub and Syed Turab Hussain


This book explains how some entities can survive and flourish in an institutional environment that is both fragile and hostile. Despite daunting odds, some institutions have managed to succeed and effectively deliver core services, earn legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, and forge resilience in the face of an otherwise tumultuous and prohibitive operational context. Nine Pakistani institutions from the public and private sectors, generally regarded as successful, have been selected for this research. These include the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Motorway Police, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Punjab Education Foundation, Edhi Foundation, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, and Rescue 1122.

The study’s research results are based mostly on semi-structured interviews with members of the selected institutions including leaders, staff, and clients. In addition to the interviews, and where possible, a qualitative assessment has been made of how the organizational performances are perceived by key stakeholders and the general public.

‘A breath of fresh air from the gloom and doom scenarios about Pakistan's economy and institutions’.

Dr Kemal Dervis,
Vice President of Brookings Institution
and former head of the United Nations Development Program.

‘An engaging read…this book should be a welcome addition to the literature on organizational success and institutional reform’.

Dr M. Ali Khan,
Abram Hutzler Professor of Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University.

‘This book complements the limited literature on pockets of success in otherwise gloomy institutional environments’.

Dr Ishrat Husain, Dean and Director of IBA
and former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan.

Author Description

Mahmood A. Ayub has worked with the World Bank for thirty years and has over thirty-five years of experience in economics, development, and operations. He has been a senior manager with both the World Bank and the United Nations with extensive experience of countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia. He has published widely on economic development issues. Dr Ayub currently works as an economic policy consultant.

Syed Turab Hussain is Associate Professor and Chair of the Economics Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He did his Masters and PhD from the University of Essex, and has eighteen years of teaching experience. His research interests range from migration, trade, and development to industrial organization and policy. He has also worked on various government policy issues and projects, such as regional trade, provincial growth strategies, industrial policy, and dispute settlement under WTO.

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More Information
ISBN 9780199403363
Weight in kg 0.515
Rights World
Year of Publication 2016
Binding Hardback
Pages 300 pages