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CHAPTER ONE

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Total Quality Management (TQM) according to Lester, R.B. (1985), is a functional management concept responsible for defining and implementing professionally developed programmes of quality improvement, error control and defect prevention with an organization for the purpose of assuring that the products and services of the organization will conform to their requirements; that customers will be protected and satisfied and that the cost of quality will be continuously reduced.

This management concept evolved out of the need by organizations for continuous quality improvement and critical importance of increased profitability and survival in the face of challenges in the business environment where competition has become very stiff.  No business today can afford to ignore the two most important people; the customer and the competitor.

Thus organizations that focus very hard on the quality of products and services grow faster than their competitors.

Some Nigerian companies that have imbibed the TQM culture with tremendous success are Oceanic Bank, Skye Bank and Eco Bank to mention a few.

The modern trend in a volatile business environment is the adoption of TQM since the old view of quality, that is based on Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) which allows tolerable levels of faults in the system that leads to high frequency of re-testing, re-working or rejection which often is very costly, has been done away with.

However, TQM which is based on producing defect-free products or services that avoids mistakes by adopting preventive measures from the profit can only thrive where the following exist:

v  Well defined policy statement and business objectives.

v  An organization structure that support the Total Quality Management Process which promote sound leadership and effective communication.

v  Training for all the key employees.

v  Motivation to secure employees’ commitment.

(Evans, P. 1992)

There is no doubt that the rate of bank failures in Nigeria has risen sharply in recent years before the N25.0 Billion recapitalization.  The rapid increase in the number of distressed banks and the magnitude of distress has reached an alarming proportion.  Confidence and credibility are gradually and steadily being eroded.  As at December 1994, there were 55 cases of distressed banks compared with 38 in December 1993.  The number rose to an unsurpassed level of 60 at the year-end of 1996.

(Ebhodaghe, 1996).

Following the distress in the banking industry there is therefore the need for banks to re-engineer and restructure their system for effective and efficient utilization of the resources available.  With the impact of increasing competition coupled with greater customer awareness and demand in an increasing complex and dynamic environment, it becomes more necessary for Skye bank to review and streakier its processes and services.  The bank’s management realized that this step was crucial for the long term survival and success of the bank and so had determined via the corporate mission,

“An industry leader through excellent customer service, leading to superior bottom line performance and first class return on investors capital, whilst contributing positively to staff development and to society”.

It was expected that achieving this mission would ultimately improve the bottom line of the bank, which is the principal objective of any business.

Because of the dynamic nature of the banking sector, which requires that banks be constantly staffed with competent personnel so as to achieve a high standard efficiency.  Many banks are now focused on providing their profitability through the quality products and services they offer.  As a result of this the banks now want:

ü  More satisfied customers who would be motivated to bring in more business into the bank.

ü  More enthusiastic, committed and productive employees.

ü  Fewer delays, mistakes, bottlenecks and missed opportunities.

ü  More work done right first time.

ü  Stream lined, efficient and cost effective systems and processes that reduce overheads and improve performance.

ü  Profitable opportunities to be identified and exploited faster than their competitors.

It is therefore against this background that these research wishes to scan the impact of TQM on employee morale and productivity in the banking industry using Skye bank as case analysis.

1.2       STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The problem of quality shortage in the Nigerian Financial Market can be attributed to lack of modern management, which created leakage within the system.  Quality dropped as a result of proliferation of banks within the system hence rather than engaging in pure banking business, the banks were generally involved in sharp practices like round tripping, non-declaration of actual profit.

Poor quality in most cases lead to problems of rework, waste, errors, delays, low morale and escalating overheads.  These translate into customer loss as well as profit and opportunity losses.  All these problems and their attendant consequences therefore call for a renewed effect to adopt change by improving core business processes, hence, Total Quality Management (TQM) programme to the rescue.

Since quality offers the best and simplest way of improving productivity, performance, customer satisfaction, reliability, teamwork, profitability and employee morale, the problem this study seeks to solve is the ability of Skye Bank Plc in using TQM to improve quality, employee morale and productivity which in turn affects positively profitability in the banking sector.

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Skye Bank Plc is a merger of five banks namely Prudent, Eko, Reliance, Bond and Cooperative Banks It commenced business in 2005 as a Limited liability company and it is adjudged as many analysts as one of the strongest merger of banks in Nigeria after the N25Billion recapitalization as directed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).  This study therefore seeks to achieve the following objectives:

1)                                          To ascertain the approaches used by Skye Bank Plc to implement TQM programme.

2)                                          To assess the impact of TQM on profitability and employee morale and productivity before and after the introduction of TQM.

3)                                          To ascertain the problems encountered by the bank in their quality improvement effects.

4)                                          To make recommendations based on the research findings.

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study will amongst others provide answers to the following research questions:

1)                  To what extent did the approaches used by Skye Bank Plc. In its quality improvement drives to meet their customers needs?

2)                  To what extent has TQM contribute to the high quality standard level of Skye Bank in the industry?

3)                  How has TQM affected employees’ morale and productivity?

1.5       RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

A research hypothesis is a tentative statement about relationships between two or more variables, which if confronted with facts can be confirmed or refuted.  This study’s hypothesis is as follows:

There is a relationship between TQM and employee morale and productivity.

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Total Quality Management plays a very significant role as a means of gaining competitive advantage in business operations.  Therefore only those companies that are able to supply consistent high quality goods and services on time and at the right price can survive.

The importance of the study are thus listed below among others; the study will:

v  Be beneficial to the employees of other banks where TQM is not operating at the moment going by the success story of Skye Bank Plc.

v  Make top management recognize their weaknesses and improve upon them.

v  Though limited to Skye Bank Plc, its findings could be applied to many other organizations.

v  Be useful to other researchers who are interested in using TQM as a new management concept to improve profitability employee morale, productivity, customer relations, communications and teamworks.

1.7       SCOPE/DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Due to some constraints such as time, finance, etc, the scope of this study will be limited to Skye Bank Plc, Lagos Corporate office only.

1.9              LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The following limitations will be faced in the course of carrying out the study.

v  Time constraint usually a major limiting factor for research of this magnitude.

v  Financial constraint due to the prevailing economic situation in the country where the per capital income is low making it practically impossible for the researcher to cover more than one firm at a time.

1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS AND CONCEPT

1)                  Quality

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