How changes in banks in Västerbotten are linked to the current financial crisis, but are still normal organizational development : "Yes, but..."

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet; Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet

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Title: Yes, but… - How changes in banks in Västerbotten are linked to the current financial crisis, but are still normal organizational development

Background: In the beginning of the 90’s, there was a financial crisis in Sweden which hit Swedish banks hard. The Swedish bank Gota banken went bankrupt and Nordbanken was taken over by the government, in large part because of their apathetic reactions to the situation they were so surprised to find themselves in. Today, almost 20 years later, the banks of Sweden find themselves in a new crisis. Because of the important position banks have in society, it is extremely important that they remain stable and have the capacity to ride out a crisis situation comfortably. As the banks did not show any crisis management strategy or skills in the 1992 crisis, it is relevant to explore if the previous experience has given Swedish banks the ability to handle a crisis situation in an efficient way.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to apply organizational development theory, crisis management theory and adversity reaction theory to the primary data collected from the interviews with the banks and through that analyze if Swedish banks are acting to prevent the financial crisis from affecting them badly.

Method: The study has a hermeneutical approach and was carried out by interviewing managers from the five major banks in Västerbotten. The primary data collected has been analyzed to get an understanding of the current development in the banks and its possible link to the financial crisis.

Conclusion: We found that banks are constantly changing in order to keep up with their competitors, changes in technology, society and the increasing demands from customers. The current events and changes in the banks are undoubtedly linked to the financial crisis, it has accelerated change, it has slowed down ongoing processes and it has facilitated harder decisions and less popular changes. But the crisis has not caused drastic changes in the organizations or their way of doing business. In fact, it can be said that the changes due to the financial crisis is normal organizational development, as the banks have responded to it in much the same fashion as they do to all changes in the external environment.

Key words: crisis management, organizational development, threat rigidity, prospect theory, financial crisis

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