A Merchant Bank Limited

Organisations are extremely complex, and in consequence, it would be naive to think that a particular problem can be traced back to only a particular cause. It may be due to a poor structure, and lack of skill training, but there may be many others all operating simultaneously; such as management style, lack of control, and poor pay system. Efficient performance of employees of a company depends to a large extend on the Structure, Management, Technology, and Human Resource Management.

Each of these elements has a role to play in the attainment of the company’s goals (objectives). Effects of these elements are very important for the continual survival of a company. From the systems perspective all these features must cohere with each other for effective organisational functioning. A system is defined as a “collection of social units which are directed towards the achievement of collective goals and objectives. ” (Source: University of Leicester, 2600 Management, People and Organisation, Module1, Unit1).

A poor organisation structure, management, Technology and Human Resource Management (HRM) can affect the way a company is managed thus affecting employees’ performance as they interact with each other to achieve an organisational goals. Therefore in this assignment the main objective is to analyse how Structure, Management, Technology and Human Resource Management affect people’s performance in C;A Merchant Bank Limited and also critically suggest changes which could improve it.

(in order to preserve confidentiality, the name of my company is not disclosed. Instead, I have used a hypothetical name “C&A Merchant Bank” through out the assignment). C;A Merchant Bank Limited commenced operations in July 1990 and is considered to be one of the most innovative banks in Ghana. In addition to its head office in Accra, C;A bank operates two branches in Kumasi and Takoradi.

The bank provides wholesale banking services including Trade Finance, Corporate and Project Finance, Lending, Brokerage Services, Advisory services, International correspondent banking and foreign current transactions to corporate clients. To support its international operations, C;A Bank uses a network of correspondent banks based in the United States and Europe. Our approach is to re-enforce the Bank’s ‘Nsaa’ logo which represents a symbol of excellence. The symbol gives employees the motivation and desire to excel in all spheres of their work. This is incorporated into the mission of the bank:

“to be the established leader in the merchant banking in Ghana satisfying the expectations of customers, employees and shareholders, providing expeditious delivery of quality banking and corporate advisor services through information technology and motivated, goal oriented and innovative personnel. An organisational design is one of the most interesting challenges in business today. Arrangements that splendidly suited the 1960’s would not necessarily serve today’s purposes. Organisational design is a process that develops over time due to the changing environment.

Contingency theory advocates that there is no “one best way” or universal approach of designing an organisation; as such organisation design should reflect its environment, strategy, technology, and information processing needs. An organisation structure is therefore defined as:”(1) the set of formal tasks assigned to individuals and departments; (2) formal relationships, including line of authority, decision responsibility, number of hierarchical levels, and span of managers’ control; and (3) the design of systems to ensure effective coordination of employees across departments.

(Source: “Management” by Richard L. Daft, 6th Edition). Organisation structure of C;A bank as indicated in figure 2. 1 and 2. 2 can be classified as tall or flat. “A tall structure has a narrow span of management, and more hierarchical. A flat structure has a wide span of management, horizontally disposes, and has few hierarchical levels. ” (Source: “Management” by Richard L. Daft, 6th Edition). The organisation structure of C;A Merchant Bank as illustrated in figure 2. 1 shows the range of different task and chain of command from the top to the bottom.

The nature of the structure is rule driven and empowered by rational-legal authority as propounded by Max Weber. At the top of the hierarchy are the Top managers (i. e. Managing Director (MD), and Deputy Managing Directors (DMD), responsible for the entire organisation. They set organisational goals, define strategies for achieving them, monitor and make decisions that affect the entire organisation. At the middle of the hierarchy are the Directors of the various department and the branch managers. Their responsibility is to implement the overall strategies and policies defined by the top managers.

The next level are the line managers (i.e. Assistant Managers) who are responsible for applying rules and procedures to day-to-day work to achieve efficient service delivery, monitors and supervise transactions captured by junior staff, and provide technical support. C;A Merchant Bank structure can clearly be described as tall (Figure 2. 2) with narrow span of control. In this type of structure, decision making is normally found at the top, with little or no delegation of authority. Power and authority lies with those at the top with lower management always have to implement or accomplish tasks that are passed down the hierarchy from the top.

By this tall and centralised structure, C;A Merchant Bank top management wants to ensure:The structure follows the mechanistic system (identified in the research work of Burns and Stalker – 1961) in which there is a high level of specialization, rigid work pattern and a well-defined hierarchical structure. This results in bureaucratic organization with emphasis on formalization. According to Max Weber, bureaucratic is a form of organisation characterised by a rational, goal-directed hierarchy and formal controls.