Examining the factors that contributed to the turnaround of Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd
The main objective of this study was to examine the factors that contributed to the turnaround of Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd from insolvency in 1995 to a vibrant solid 2nd tier bank by 2010. The study sought to establish the factors that contributed to the bank’s turnaround. The study adopted a case study methodology. Primary data was collected through interviews with 10 employees, a longstanding customer and a representative of the industry association. The study results suggest that leadership, focus on stakeholder needs and strategy would explain the bank’s successful turnaround more than focus on process improvement does. With respect to leadership, the study found that openness with stakeholders, including openly admitting mistakes, discussing the bank’s vision, getting commitment from the employees and building confidence in the institution were some of the leadership factors that contributed to the turnaround. With respect to strategy, the study found that identifying and developing expertise in a niche market, nurturing relationships with customers in the niche, evolving this strategy by converting to an SME bank assisted the bank in generating profitability necessary for the turnaround. Further, by involving every one of its employees, directly and indirectly in the strategy development, employing the balanced scorecard, linked to the performance management system to monitor strategy implementation, the bank ensured that its employees understood and implemented the strategy. The bank also used various means to gain the support from its main stakeholders. In terms of process improvement, the bank’s IT systems did not play a major part in the turnaround, but the bank tried to ensure that it provided first class services to its customers even though they had a system that was largely manual. The study concludes that leadership, strategic focus and stakeholder focus contributed the most in the turnaround of Chase Bank. Process improvement focus may not have made significant contribution to the turnaround, but this shortcoming was compensated for by first class customer service. This research adopted a qualitative approach. Further research using a quantitative approach may throw more light into how leadership, strategic focus, stakeholder focus and process improvement focus interacted with each other.