AGENTS OF CHANGE: BANK BRANCH MANAGERS AND THE MANAGEMENT OF CORPORATE CULTURE CHANGE.
Change is generally important in any organization to meet the unending challenges faced from all corners. One way of effective accomplishment of organizational transformation is through change based on a process. It hence is fitting so say organizational change is what often drives culture change. Culture change is agreeably dynamic and depends to a larger extent on leadership and management. Research into two of Norway’s largest banks suggests that lower level managers and Branch managers are more influential in driving culture change. Our focus will be to understand what approaches were used in implementing those changes and the impact of those changes in the organization.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
APPROACHES TO CHANGE TAKEN
Information and Consciousness Building
Messages In Relation to Measurement
IMPACT OF CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION
BRANCH MANAGERS AND LOW- LEVEL MANAGERS AS CHANGE AGENTS
SUCCESS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF CHANGE IN BOTH BANKS
CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGE TO ORGANIZATIONS EMPLOYEE’S
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Change in organization, especially culture change is dynamic and is created by the people through interactions amongst themselves in the organization. Leadership behavior shapes culture change based on norms, rules, routines and structures as outlined by Schein (2004). When organizations face challenges and their continued existence is endangered, it becomes the responsibility of their leadership to be conscious of such challenge and take necessary actions to solve the situation. We thus can say in this context that leadership as well as culture is two sides of the same coin. CB is the largest commercial bank in Norway which is a result of merger of the two largest commercial banks in the country. Their change initiative in the mid 1990’s was as a result of change in business approach in the financial sector to be sales/ customer- oriented. SB is the largest savings bank in Norway which is as a result or merger between several savings banks that merged all together to form the largest savings banks (Bjorn and Adrian, 1996). They faced the same challenges and adopted almost identical approach to manage change, we will look at how they compare and differ in their approaches. The research showed the important role leaders play, particularly middle managers in major culture changes within the financial sector.
1. APPROACHES TO CHANGE TAKEN
Due to the fragmented nature of banks in Norway, there is a potential for them to create sub-cultures and strengthen the influential roles of lower level leaders, each bank set a different approach and strategy for change.
Figure 1: Organizational culture change process Simone and Brian (2011) In their organizational development journal findings, Simone and Brian (2011, p38) suggested leadership and management with adequate training and development of staffs served as bridge to organizational change when moving from old corporate culture “Legacy” to new corporate culture “holistic quilt”. Foundation of the bridge is from leadership and good management as depicted in figure 1.
A. COMMERCIAL BANK
In identifying the influence branch managers have on their subordinates, CB pushed forwards its agenda for changing its structure to a sales oriented. The first step taken was to “centralize and standardize their operations. This is supported by streamlining majority of their banks to become as similar as possible and is in accordance to Kurt Lewin’s Unfreeze stage of change management. Previous jobs held by Branch managers were assigned to their newly created administrative base leaving the...
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