“Why don't employees respond to management initiatives?”
Evidence from Malaysian banking. A grounded theory approach.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
It is an acknowledged fact that managing people in organizations is the most complex part of management. Effective management is possible only when there is a comprehensive understanding of motives of human behavior and strong leadership which shapes an organisational culture. Strong organisational culture is able to manage people effectively, whereas, the weak one creates lots of ambiguity and misperceptions.
Restructuring of financial markets that led to increased competition among financial organizations resulted in a need to create performance based cultures. Although, market focus requires the banks to be more flexible, and therefore, increase employee empowerment, the banking organizations tend to remain hierarchical with bureaucratic orientation. However, it also explains the rigid performance appraisal system in the banks. Globalization and recognition of western management practices as a benchmark for imitation, eventually, caused their adoption by banks operating in Malaysia. However, initiatives which seem to be able to bring to success, sometimes fail during implementation. Therefore, the aim of this project is to examine the factors that shape an organisational culture and influence on effective managing people in banking organizations within Malaysian context.
The project involves the comparative analysis conducted between two banks operating in Malaysia, both of which were given fictitious names such as Western Finance Bank Bhd. (an MNC) and a Local Bank Corporation (with global exposure). 9 interviews have been conducted with employees of both banks and analysed as a part of this paper. The collected samples were analysed using qualitative method, namely interpretive method. The conclusions of the analysis and implications have been discussed. No hypothesis was used prior to the study, as the conclusions had to reflect the reality, and therefore, emerge from the data using grounded theory approach. The findings revealed that organisational cultures are constantly changing and illustrated that there is a considerable influence of national values on Malaysian employees perceptions and understandings requires modification of western management style, i.e. indigenizing approach to management. In particular, in terms of communication between the western management and local employees there is a gap that results in cross-cultural issues existing in MNC bank, causing misinterpretation of management initiatives which finally resulted in a weak organisational culture.
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