A study of leadership, staff morale and engagement in retail and commercial banking in Ireland

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Authors
Rochford, Diarmuid
Issue Date
2013
Degree
MA of Business Administration (international)
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
The banking system in Ireland has been in a state of dysfunction since 2008. Since the financial crisis and the subsequent near collapse of the Irish banking system, the Irish banks have been in a severely weakened state both reputationally, financially and as places to work. While many factors and causes have been identified for this dysfunction, one key factor is how the banks have been and are, led. The purpose of this study is to explore the practice of leadership in contemporary Irish banking with particular reference to how they encourage and engage their employees, to analyse to what extent the leadership practices and styles of the leaders of the Irish banks created the conditions that exposed the banks to the global financial crisis and amplified the effects of the crisis on the banks and to identify means to improve the performance of the leaders of the banks in engaging their staff. The objective of this study is to identify, through a series of in-depth interviews with staff in the Irish banks, if the leadership styles adopted by the banks, have changed since the years leading up to the crisis, to examine if these styles are effective at fostering employee morale and engagement and to explore if the ways in which the leaders of Irish banks can improve the morale and engagement of their employees. As an exploratory study, the intention is to reach a hypothesis on the state of leadership and suggest avenues for further research into an area that I believe requires consideration as a part of efforts to restore the banks in Ireland to health, but may be eclipsed by efforts to repair the financial, and regulatory issues that also require urgent attention.