Managing change under FINSAP - case study of Ghana Commercial Bank Limited

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Ghana’s economic and development growth policy direction since the 1980’s is one of reducing Government direct involvement in the management and operations of institutions. This is to enable it concentrate more on its regulatory functions. Conscious efforts are therefore being pursued to place the private sector in the driving seat of the country’s development through liberalization and competition. The study sets out to investigate the changes that have taken place in the financial sector in Ghana particularly banking, coming on the heels of the Financial Sector Adjustment Programme (FINSAP) and how these challenges are manifested and managed in the Ghana Commercial Bank. Established in 1953 as a state bank, GCB dominated the banking sector in many respects and took custody of state and other parastatal institution accounts. Against this background, the study begins with the theoretical basis of financial reforms in a liberalized setting and gives the overview of Ghana’s economy prior to the reforms. The crucial role of management in initiating and implementing change and various performance indicators have been highlighted. The salient tools and principles for effective change management that could he applied to increase efficiency have been also discussed extensively in the literature review. Using the conventional questionnaire administration, interviews and physical observations, analysis of data collected from GCB Senior Managers, workers, customers as well as secondary sources, certain observations were made. For an organization that has enjoyed statutory “protection” over the years, greater efforts are required from stakeholders particularly management to succeed in the new dispensation. The mindset of the entire workforce must be reoriented towards positive work ethics and professionalism that are basis for productivity and efficiency. Management must demonstrate greater will to change and perhaps faster than has been demonstrated so far. Approaches and enthusiasm towards solving basic problems, leadership and personal life styles etc. at of all levels of management must reflect a paradigm shift from the status quo. High performance must be effectively rewarded to motivate even the resistors to accept change and own the process. The need for transparency greater involvement of staff in decision making, avoidance of high risk and imprudent credit, enforcement of cost cutting measures, computerization and networking of all branches etc. were some of the observations and recommendations that were made. For management to assert its authority effectively, it was also mentioned that Government’s influence by way of appointing directors of the bank, underwriting certain loans etc, that often lead to unnecessary exposures must be controlled. The above notwithstanding, the study finally established that changes in the financial sector has been well managed in the bank and this resulted in improved performance of the bank. Using the simple regression analysis, this assertion was accepted at 95% confidence level.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Economics and Industrial Management, College of Arts and Social Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, 2003