The Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank has been Mr. Prince K. Amoabeng since its establishment. The bank has 24 banking halls nationwide, 2 loan centers and 16 ATM outlets. Kumasi Branches which are the focus have 40 staff members which comprise of 2 Management Staff, 25 Senior Staff and 13 Junior Staff. The branch has four departments namely; Banking (Operations), Wholesale Banking and Investor Relations, Retail Banking and Administration (UT Bank, 2011). Organizational culture
Basically, culture is defined as “the way we do things around here” (Deal & Kennedy, 2000) or “the way we think about things around here” (Maull, Brown & Cliffe, 2001). Deal and Kennedy (1982) argue that culture is the single most important factor accounting for success or failure in organizations. They identified four key dimensions of culture:
1. Values – the beliefs that lie at the heart of the corporate culture. 2. Heroes – the people who embody values. 3. Rites and rituals – routines of interaction that have strong symbolic qualities. 4. The culture network – the informal communication system or hidden hierarchy of power in the organization. Groeschl and Doherty (2000) pointed out that culture consists of several elements- implicit and otherwise. Most often these elements are explained by terms such as behaviour, values, norms and basic assumptions. According to Schein (1996), culture may be studied at its most visible level through the examination of its artefacts and creations, which include physical space, technology, art, symbols, language, mottoes, and overt behaviour are the values espoused by individuals as the organisation faces and deals with new situations.
These represent “what ought to be, as distinct from what is”. The culture of an organization develops through the course of social interactions rather than being imposed, and creates system of shared meanings to mobilize members of the organization in pursuit of the desired aims and objectives. Morgan (1997) focuses on the whole organization, the cultivation of harmonious relations at all levels, the merging of individual with common goals and a reliance on worker responsibility (Japanese approaches) as success factors in organizational culture.
Successful organizations build cohesive cultures around common set of norms, values, and ideas that create a focus for doing business. Organizations are socially created and exist as much in the minds of their members as they exist in concrete structures, rules and relations. Organizational culture facilitates the acceptable solutions for knowing the problems, which members learn, feel and set the principles, expectations, behaviour, patterns, and norms that promote a high level of achievement (Marcoulides & Heck, 1993; Schein, 1992).
Analysis of the culture of the organization based on observation The observation was made on the basis of the artefact, norms, values and, the assumptions and beliefs within the organisation. The observation followed through the working periods of the organisation: the observer was as objective as much as possible. Artefacts From the observation, every office and employee had stickers of “Loan in less than 48hours” and crests embossed to their breasts respectively. Also, each branch had the missions and vision of the bank hanged on the walls of the banking halls.
The bank’s physical arrangement is a well-planned architecture of the office which shows clearly the various departments. Also, it was observed that the office design is one that fit the organisation and what it does. It has offices for various departmental heads and that of a shared office for the other employees which enhanced communication. There is no specific dress code for the employees, but the employees are also smart and formal in appearance. However, on Friday, employees wear prints made of the colours and descriptions of the bank.
Employees spoke a corporate language which is English; but also intermittently spoke Twi when attending to the illiterate clients as well as casual conversations among staff. Values and Norms From the observations, the values of the bank are not only visibly seen on their walls, but also clearly evident in the behaviours of the employees. It was observed that, the general demeanours of the employees exude respect, integrity and high level professionalism. Workers reported to work as early as 06:00 GMT, and left the office as late as 21:00 GMT. Workers were willing to go the extra mile to keep the customers happy.
According to Hunt, Boal and Sorenson (1990), leadership is a process involving the leader, task and situation and indeed. Most of the leadership literature confuses the definition of effective leadership by failing to make clear distinctions in some definitions, such as between leaders and non-leaders, effective and ineffective leaders, as well as overlooking the definition of the levels of leadership (Bennis, 1998; Bergsteiner, 2005; House and Aditya, 1997) Leaders are often tangible images of successful endeavour in organizations, serving as role models and mentors for the more junior and aspiring employees.
The evaluation and explanation of leadership is the domain of theorists and researchers who offer organizations a range of approaches or theories, which may be said to evolve from the changing expectations of organizations.
Leadership is “the process wherein an individual member of a group or organisation influences the interpretation of events, the choice of objectives and strategies, the organisation of work activities, the motivation of people to achieve objectives, the maintenance of cooperative relationships, the development of skills and confidence by members, and the enlistment of support and cooperation from people outside the group or organisation” (Yukl, 2002).
When leaders are effective the influence they exert over others help a group(s) or organization(s) to achieve its performance goals. On the other hand, if leaders are ineffective, their influence does not contribute to and often detracts from, goal attainment. Leadership depends on the use of power, influence, vision, persuasion and communication skills to coordinate the behaviour of individuals and groups so that their activities and efforts are in harmony. Leaders encourage employees to perform at a high level to achieving targeted oals (Jones et al. 2007). Leadership in UT Bank Ghana Limited, Kumasi Branch UT Bank believes in quality leadership and its management opines that leadership is all about team-building and the expression of selfless work ethics. The leadership is a participatory one and as such it is a rule that all employees irrespective of the management level address one another by the first name. There is a vision for the organization; guiding, training, coaching and motivating employees to work effectively to achieve the organization’s objectives.
The trend is to empower employees, give them as much freedom as possible to become self-directed and self-motivated. Often, that means working in teams. Teamwork aids communication, improves cooperation, reduces internal competition and maximizes the talents of all employees on a project. Strength and limitations of UT Bank Ghana Limited, Kumasi branch as organisms Strengths The organisational culture and leadership in the organisation helps develop an understanding between the organization and its environments.
This describes the organization as existing in an open system where the environment has a great impact on the way the organization is run. It shows that the management of UT Bank can often be improved through systematic attention to the “needs” that must be satisfied if the organization is to survive. It emphasizes survival as the main task facing the organization which helps the goals to not be an end in themselves, but media of survival.
The leadership in UT Bank shows that there is no best way of managing – thus, the best way of management is determined by the events happening at any point in time. It clearly shows that different approaches to management may be necessary to perform different tasks within the organisation. Limitations A careful look at UT Bank as an organism makes one assume that the organisation is functionally organised which leads to “functional unity” – interdependence where every element of the system works for all the other elements.
However, in organizations, self-interest is a major conflict and also different elements of an organization are usually capable of living separate lives and often do so. Also, the rise in importance of the organic metaphor in UT Bank has undermined the efficiency of bureaucratic organizations. The metaphor leads UT Bank and its environments in a way that is far too concrete. This is because organizations and their environments can be understood as socially constructed phenomena. Their shape and structure is much more fragile and tentative than the material structure of an organism.
It is misleading to suggest that UT Bank need to “adapt” to its environment or that environments “select” the organizations that are to survive. On the contrary, organizations have a choice as to whether they are to compete or collaborate. Collaborating organizations actions can have an impact on the environment. Conclusion Since an organisation is an organism made up of systems working together, keeping such systems in good and workable conditions is very crucial to the survival and subsequent success of the organisation.
Culture and leadership can be seen as effective lubricants to the effective functioning of an organisation. The culture of an organization is many times created by those who lead it. The culture of an organization speaks directly to the beliefs and practices that it holds to be true. When thinking about culture a leader must help define why the organization exists and to lead by example. Thereby satisfying the needs of employees organisations operate more effectively and people truly become the lifeblood of organisations.