Contextual Forces

The dynamics of contextual forces, management's orientations and change management practices: A tracer study of banking and financial institutions

  "banks-skyscrapers" by Samson Duborg-Rankin.

Funding Agency: ESRC

Date: 2010-2012

Principal Investigator: Professor Ebrahim Soltani

This research project is a response to previous calls for a more comprehensive treatment of the nature and peculiarities of managing service organisations and the widespread perceptions of declining quality of service offerings as the direct outcome of the ‘incompetence’ and ‘irresponsibility’ of the upper echelon management team.

Building upon the stream of work referred to as ‘contextual forces’, and ‘bounded rationality’, the project adopts an inductive mode of longitudinal qualitative case studies of international banking institutions and elucidates several internal and external contextual forces that shape management’s support or otherwise of a change programme. Contingent upon the identified internal (e.g. organisational culture, individual characteristics of managers, power position, structural source of power) and external (e.g. industry characteristics, regulatory governance, level of economic prosperity, national culture) contextual factors managers could not act completely rationally in their orientations and follow-up decisions and actions. More specifically, three types of managerial orientations are identified: forwarding-looking, backward-looking, and present-focused (status-quo) orientations. The report delineates the potential of the research findings for the wider community of financial institutions and banking regulatory authorities.


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