Retrenchment process and the coping mechanisms of employees from the banking industry in Ghana: a case of Adot Bank Ghana Limited

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June, 2016
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Although there has been a great deal of work on retrenchment in other sectors like mining and general business, this has not been the case in the banking sector. This study attempted to fill this gap in the literature in Ghana. The study adopted a qualitative case study methodology employing in-depth interviews as its main data collection tool. Purposive sampling was used to select three (3) bank staff at the HRM Department of the case bank, and snowball sampling was used to reach thirty eight (38) retrenched staff. A Logical Positivist approach was adopted, employing the Social and Human Capital Theories as the mediating variables to explain the coping mechanisms of these retrenched staff. The researcher used the comparative content analysis to analyse the data. The findings showed that the retrenchment process of the bank under study had an implementation gap at the selection criteria and severance package level within the retrenchment process. There were also indications that retrenched staff suffered loss of self-esteem and change in status. Retrenchees also experienced a reduction in spending as well as emotional breakdown such as anger and crying at some point in time which were directly related to the retrenchment process. The study further revealed that retrenched staff coped differently due to varying family backgrounds and environmental situations. Moreover, the study found that retrenched staff coped with emotion and problem focused coping by Folkman and Lazarus (1984) and also resorted to coping with the knowledge, skills and capabilities they have as well as friends, family, social organisations and religion. In line with the findings of the study, the researcher had bridged the gap by providing a comprehensive study on retrenchment that looks at the retrenchment process through to the effects, coping mechanisms as well as the labour market reintegration of the affected employee. Again the findings of the study would be relevant for policy implementers in banks to look at issues within the retrenchment process especially at the selection criteria and severance package. The researcher therefore recommends proper negotiations towards the establishment of consensus between the employer and employee as well as the trade union on the selection of the affected employee to minimise the effects on the affected employee for a better coping.
A doctoral thesis submitted to the Department of Human Resources and Organisational Development in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy in Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2016