The Contribution of Industrial - Organizational Psychology to strategy implementation in the Commercial Bank of Africa
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Industrial – Organizational psychology is the scientific study of the relationship between man and the world of work in the process of making a living, that is, it is the application or extension of psychological facts and principles to the problems concerning human beings operating within the context of business and industry. Incorporated into the strategy implementation phase of the strategic management process, it is expected that Industrial and Organizational psychology can confer major benefits to the phase, lending itself in a big way to impacting this phase. This project, as a case study of the Commercial Bank of Africa, sought to establish the contribution of Industrial – Organizational Psychology to strategy implementation. The Commercial Bank of Africa, among the leading commercial banks in Kenya, at the end of the year 2012, had seven hundred and twenty eight employees, spread across twenty one branches throughout the Republic of Kenya. In the same year, it reported a profit (before income tax expense) of 4.3 million Kenya Shillings. With the help of an interview guide, face to face interviews were conducted with five senior managers drawn from both the Human Resource and Finance and Strategy departments of the bank. Responses were recorded and later analyzed by content. The study found, in line with previous studies and with the theory in the field, that the main contribution of Industrial – Organizational Psychology was the creation of resources (human resources and those surrounding the human agenda such as culture, motivation etc.) that are valuable, rare and difficult to imitate and that facilitate an ease in implementation of chosen strategies. Among the key limitations of the study was the fact that time was a key constraint during fieldwork and most of the manager respondents were unavailable during the initial set up appointments. Moreover, as a case study, it is impossible to make generalizations about the contribution of Industrial – Organizational psychology to other banks, organizations and industries. The study recommends a more in-depth look and appreciation of Industrial and Organizational psychology for the Commercial Bank of Africa, such that it should recognize the field as an important contributor to its human resource agenda and perhaps mete out a fully-fledged department in the Bank. As such, it is important to consider the primary psychological processes and link the broad categories of work design characteristics (task-related, relational and contextual characteristics) to individual effectiveness outcomes. Finally, it proposes other areas of study such as the entire financial industry for trends and benefits of Industrial – Organizational psychology, other industries in the country as well as other phases of the strategic management process both at the Bank and the fore mentioned frontiers.

Mwita, Mosoba A
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