Strategic decision-making process (SDMP) in times of crisis: evidence from Greek banks

Eleni Aravopoulou, Mohamed Branine, Merlin Stone, Fotios V. Mitsakis, Geoff Paul

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Abstract

This paper investigates the strategic decision making process (SDMP) of Greek banks’ top management in the context of profound organisational changes introduced in 2012 due to the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. It focuses on the impact of three key dimensions of the SDMP, namely, rationality, intuition and political behaviour, relating to four changes introduced, namely, mergers and acquisitions, branch network rationalisation, integration of information technology (IT) and downsizing of operations and personnel. A survey questionnaire was conducted, targeting Greek banks’ top management. Out of 140 questionnaires, 78 were returned, a 55.71% response rate. Data was analysed using structural equation modelling. Research findings identify rationality as a key dimension of SDMP for all organisational changes, as there was high focus on identifying and analysing all required information, use of external financial advisors, and reliance on multiple methods of information gathering. Decision-makers used their intuition in the form of past experience when making acquisition decisions, whilst their personal judgment and “inner voice” were neglected.
Finally, political behaviour was not displayed during this process, as decision-makers were open with each other about their interests and preferences, and there was no bargaining, negotiation or use of power amongst them. One limitation was that of not considering all the factors that might help measure SDMP. Also, this study was conducted in a period of political and financial uncertainty for Greek banks, as well as for the Greek economy in general, so findings may not be generalizable to other industries and countries. Conducting interviews could have offered deeper insight as well. This study’s value lies in the fact that the organisational changes were determined by Greece’s leaders, and thus the Greek banks had to operate under a dynamic, inflexible and non-autonomous environment. Also, this study extends prior SDMP research by examining the impact of the three key SDMP dimensions on four types of organisational change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business and Retail Management Research
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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