A survey of resistance to change in commercial banks in Kenya
Commercial banks in Kenya, which are mostly private, have been changing the way they operate and products they offer to remain competitive in the financial market while for others is to survive. These changes as identified were major technological upgrades, change of organizational structures, processes, products and services, corporate image, mergers, rightsizing and acquisitions among others. The purpose of this study was to explore indicators of resistance to change, factors that cause resistance to change and how the agent and/or managers administer resistance to change to ensure successful implementation of the changes. All the listed forty-five commercial banks in Kenya at the time of the study were included. 32 banks responded constituting a 71% response rate. The study was carried out by use of questionnaires, which consisted of both open-ended and closed questions. The data collected was analyzed using the SPSS computer based statistical program and presented in tables and other descriptive statistics. The study shows that there are various indicators resistance to change in Kenyan Commercial Banks. The behavioral ones include lack of co-operation, low staff morale, staff turnover, lower quality of work, slow down in pace of work, grievances, absenteeism, strikes and health claims which had a moderate influence at 31% apart from strikes and increased health claims, which were very weak at 59% and 44% respectively. For the systemic indicators, information technology and finance were the most affected at 66% and 44% respectively. Others were general management, production, research and development and corporate communications, which were all affected significantly. The findings also revealed that the various causes of resistance identified all had strong influence. They included group participation, communication, mutual respect, credibility of the change agent, level of staff qualification, terms of employment and involvement in the change process. There are various ways of handling the resistance mainly communication, training, reviews, rewarding, learning and least used being coerciveness. Communication is most popular measure used in Kenyan Commercial Banks.
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
School of Business, University of Nairobi