ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT IN SELECTED NIGERIAN BANKS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Leadership is a subject that has long excited interest among scholars and managers of men and resources. The term connotes images of powerful dynamic persons who command victorious grieves, direct corporate empires from top gleaming skyscraper of shape the course of nation (Yukul 1981). Interest in this subject existed as long as people have been studying human behaviour. In fact leadership behavior arises where two or more persons gather for political, economic, social or religious purpose. Mekeaghar (1997:180) attested that leadership is not the giving of direct, rather it is the facilitation of directedness, it is an activity of a group which cannot actually be separated from the dynamic interaction of the communal process of envisioning. As such, leadership entails responsibility of self and others, not only in the identified leader but also in each member of the group within which leadership implies not only the interrelatedness of persons but also their common direction. In actual fact, leadership is more than power or authority, it actually implies some degree of voluntary compliance by followers.
Peters (1991:340) stressed that in today’s business world, leadership is a subject of profound importance and of critical relevance to our day to day activities. The success or failure of enterprises, the ability to support families (and employee families), and a sense of self worth and achievement, all have direct links to the performance of corporate leaders. Leader decisions change companies and lives because leadership is both the adhesive that binds a work group together and the catalyst for employee motivations.
The organization that exists today is dramatically different from that which hitherto, existed or which will exist in the future, because technology, the customs have all changed and will continue to change. Today, the market place is global, the customs are more demanding, the capabilities to communicate, especially via the Internet, is growing exponentially. Besides, employees are even withholding their allegiance until incorporated into the decision making process. Leaders recognize that while the fundamental principles by which they do business in changing rapidly (Ferris, 1997). Today, job requires more thinking, more customers services, more initiative and more skills application, physical labour is obviously less required. It is a completely different world requiring different leadership techniques. The leadership as the eyes, ears, heart and soul of the organization constantly
scans the emerging changes in the world and redefines the business in order to increase its viability overtime. The approach of leaders is simply a matter of personal style. Some are authocratic, or democratic and many offer a combination of styles. They always like to do anything they want at anytime without consulting anybody while some are democratic, in the sense that they will do anything. Many offer a combination of styles. Most successful corporate leaders adopt the approach that meets the needs of the organization and business structure at hand. At times, the approaches has do overlap. Some select a dominant approach, using it as the compass and ruler that direct all corporate decisions and activities (Farkas and Wetluafer 1996:166).
Fem’s (1997:151) is of the view that corporate organization in the past had the top three or four executives,who make all the decision and then supervised the implementation process. But in today’s turbulent world, it is impossible to control from the top. It is unreasonable even to try. This is because today’s business world is highly competitive. The way to survive is to reshape to the need of the rapidly changing world. It is a company does not meet the needs of its competitors with organizations are reshaping themselves to change quickly in order to meet the needs of their customers.
Organizations leaders know they cannot throw many act every problem; the needs highly committed and flexible workers. Peters (1991:344) maintain that despite the acceleration technology/authoritative revolution, our organization must become more dependent on people who are responsible for the companies, success than ever before, especially with the front line staff with customers. He emphasizes that this go way beyond, “the people are our greatest asset” statement that appeared in the mission statement in the seventies and eighties. The essence behind today’s deep roofed belief is that in today’s world, technologies and production come and go. Natural resources throughout the planet and commercial power continues to shift from manufacturing to services, therefore the employee plays a vital role in the organizational success. He insists that, there is no limit to what the average person can accomplish if well trained, well supported and well paid for primary source of volume added not a factor of production to be optimized, minimized and/or eliminated. As we are in the 21st century leaders will have to be highly flexible and have a broad range of skills. In order to lead and keep good people, leaders must be articulated, energetic and empowering, modern thinking about power is that more power is gained by empowering others.
Successful empowerment will typical require feedback on performance form a variety of sources, an environment that is leant of mistakes, widely distributed information, that is to learnt of mistakes widely distributed information, generalist managers and employees, flat structures and less bureaucracy. In the service industry, managers describe their primary sources of competitive advantages as being the people. As such people are the single most important asset. Only a system of distributed decision making can provide flexibility and motivation for people to maintain peak performance levels. The banking sector being one of the foremost sectors in the services industry was selected for the study.
The roles of banks in the macro-economic polities of a nation especially in the implementation of monetary and fiscal policies cannot be over emphasized. Commercial Banks have been selected for this study because of their capital formation role through financial intermediation. Three Commercial Banks in Enugu were selected for this study. They are Eco Bank International Plc, Diamond Bank Limited, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. These Banks were selected based on their structures, age and size. The study is to assess the leadership styles adopted in the banking industry and the relationship between leadership style and corporate performances, to determine whether the employees are empowered or not and the correlation between employee empowerment and employee performance. It is also aimed at determining the relationship that exists between employee improvement, leadership style and organizational performance and the overall impact on the stakeholders.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In today’s business world, organizational performance depends on corporate governance, which in turn depends on employees, who are considered as the most important asset. Proponents of employee empowerment believe that it will result in optimal organizational performance while other’s believe it is a noble cause but are lost on the empowerment ethics. This becomes a serious problem as most corporate leaders in a dilemma on whether or not to embrace empowerment and if they do, how do they manage the empowerment mechanics. As this problem persists, the organization may be under utilizing the workforce, losing monetrality and by extension making the society worse off. There is therefore the need to determine
(i) The mechanics of empowerment employed in the banking sector.
(ii) The effect of governance style on organizational performances.
(iii) Whether employee empowerment actually increased overall performance of the banks.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are as follows:
i) To determine the governance style relevant in Nigeria banking industry.
ii) To determine the relationship between leadership style, and employee performance.
iii) To determine whether the employee is actually empowered in the banking industry.
iv) To determine the relationship between employee empowerment and organizational performances.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research work will attempt to provide answers to the following questions.
(i) What is the dominant/prevalent governance style?
(ii) To what extent is the effect of employee empowerment on the employee performance and the overall organizational performance?
(iii) Are employees truly empowered in the banking industry?
(iv) To what extent is there a relationship between the employee empowerment and organizational performance?
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
Hi There is a relationship between the employee empowerment and organizational performance.
Ho There is no relationship between the employee empowerment and organizational performances.
Hi The employee are truly empowered in the banking industry.
Ho The employees are not truly empowered in the banking industry.
Hi There are factors that calls for employee empowerment in the organization.
Ho There is no factor that calls for employee empowerment in the organization.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The study will be limited to only three commercial banks based in Enugu State. The study intends to covers as many effects of governance style and employee empowerment as possible as it affects organizational performance. There may be omission and misinterpretation by the employee of the Bank. This could be through lack of proper understanding of the questions asked, forgetfulness or deliberate misinterpretation. This will tend to reduce the degree of accuracy of the research work. Finally, there may be problem of insufficient date; this could be as a result of an availability of information from the required source. 1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY With the licensing of new Banks and imminent introduction of universal banking. The competition in commercial banking is getting stiffer. Commercial banks sell virtually the same product and king customer is very much aware since needs are ever changing, if a company is not bale to satisfy its customers needs, the likelihood is that its competitors will take over. Therefore, the success of failure of service delivery depends on the ability to satisfy the customers, which in turn depends on a large extent of the employee.
In effects the study is relevant to the extent that it identifies the effects of leadership styles and employee empowerment on organizational performance. The banking sector would have to take advantage of effective leadership style and employee, empowerment to remain competitive. It will also prepare, the Banks for the greater tasks ahead to satisfy Bank, customers and beat competitors.