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Organizational Behaviour Assignment: Scenarios Based on Real-Life Situations


Task: Question 1
Topic 7 (Chapter 9) – Use the three levels of organisational culture to analyse culture of one of the four Australian banks of your choice. Make sure your answer presented in the organizational behaviour assignment is not descriptive but analytical

Question 2
Topic 8 (Chapter 10) –

a) Why would a bank of your choice wish to empower their employees after the Banking Royal Commission? Compare benefits and risks associated with empowerment.


Answer 1
The three levels of the organizational culture proposed by Schein would help analysing the cultural aspects of the Commonwealth Bank. This organization operates in the Banking financial Service Industry and serves the population worldwide. The particular areas of operation of this organization include consumer banking, mortgages, credit cards, global wealth management, corporate banking, Investment banking and many more. The visionary decisions and operative effectiveness of the organization could help generate 30.16 billion AUD in the year 2020. More than 43,583 employees are working with the organization as per the company annual report suggestsCommonwealth Bank, 2021). Organizational culture of the banking group is as effective as required for executing the marketing operations creatively.

According to the Schein’s model, there are three organizational levels that can be considered as artefacts, values and assumptions. The obvious and the over elements of the organization are considered as the artefacts (Wahyuningsih et al., 2019). The things referred to as the artefacts can be observed by the observers. The layout of office, dressing codes, behavioural norms and others can be easily observed though hard to understand in depth. Looking forward to the analysis of the current organization’s or Commonwealth Bank’s organizational cultural levels, it could be identified that the organization promotes continuous learning culture where practically sharing data with each other, the level of collaboration, assistance and others can be observed. As per the chief executive, even after the severalyears completion of the brand in the industry, they consider the historical journey of the organization are not the artefacts, those demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of the people that develop the culture of the brand.As opined by “We have now substantially divested, or ceased our wealth management businesses….driving operational excellence and on maintaining the Bank’s leadership in digital banking and innovation” (Commonwealth Bank, 2021). Therefore, it can be inferred that the organization focused on the continuous learning of the people to become more appropriate to the personal and professional needs rather than some fascinating artefacts.

Another level of culture of an organisation can be considered as espoused values. This includes the set of norms and values that are declared by the organisation and represents through their actions and decisions. The interaction among the members of the organisation is affected by the organisational values (Burns, Houghton & Stewart, 2020). The public declarations of the organisation Commonwealth Bank such as the speech by the chief executiveaboutpast years of the brand and others most often reveals the organisation’s espoused values. This organization thrives on proving the value of the years of journey recognition among the customers through working with same effectiveness and effort. On the other hand, the organization has been observed to be effective in managing the gender diversity, cultural diversity, accessibility, employee wellbeing, employee engagement and others which clarify the keen interest in preserving the skilled employees through allowing equal opportunity to every work group(Ariza Aguilera, 2018).

Shared basic assumptions or assumptions of the organizations can be considered as the behaviors and the beliefs of that the deeply valued by the individuals working within the organization to achieve the desired success. It could be identified that one of the core beliefs that employees and the authorities of the Commonwealth Bank possess is effective marketing program implementation with reference to which the organization has adopted many of the modern technological equipments and platforms such as big data and social media marketing strategies to increase the marketing value of the organization(Schein & Schein, 2017). It has helped the organization to establish a loyal customer base and increased reputation as a people oriented cultural organization.

Answer 2
The Banking Royal Commission, also referred to as the Hayne Royal Commission, was established in December 2017 with regards to determining the degree and extent of misconduct within the Australian financial services industry (Schmulow, Fairweather& Tarrant, 2018). While several banking organizations in the country were implicated, National Australia Bank, which is one of the largest financial institutions in Australia, was identified as one of the major defaulters. Based on the investigation and the subsequent reports that followed, a number of scandals and financial misdoings came to the forefront. For instance, the commission revealed that NAB officials had paid millions of dollars to clients in order to keep the inappropriate advice provided from 2008 to 2015 under covers (Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 2021). Employee interviews at later stages also showed how most of the internal stakeholders believed that the organizational culture at NAB was toxic and volatile. Over the seven rounds of public hearings that were conducted in the commission, NAB suffered the most in the ensuing years, as its share prices as well as investor and customer confidence levels began dropping rapidly (Danckert, 2016).

Discussing the need for employee empowerment at NAB post the Banking Royal Commission, several advantages can be talked about. One of the most prominent in this regard relates to ensuring better flow of communication between the banking authorities and the employees. The Royal Commission led to several changes within the organization as well as the industry at large, and the wish to empower employees in this regard would enable NAB to encourage its employees to embrace the change and work with it. In addition, empowering the employees could also improve the quality of work as it would lead to individual accountability (Mohapatra&Sundaray, 2018). The employees would be concerned regarding the provision of inappropriate financial advice as they would be accountable individually, and this could improve the overall levels of productivity within NAB. Communication would be boosted to a large extent along with the potential of reducing employee turnover at the bank. The Banking Royal Commission led to serious dents within the brand’s corporate image, and employees would be likely to look for opportunities elsewhere (Bloom, 2020). Ensuring that they are empowered would reduce the possibility of employees shifting to other organisations. The overall costs of operations would also reduce considerably in the presence of an empowered workforce, as the individual employees would be committed towards achieving their objectives in a comprehensive manner.

While the advantages are plenty, there are also several drawbacks associated with empowering the employees post the Royal Commission. For instance, it could lead to a rise in incidents where the employees abuse their power. Senior employees could also engage in creating power imbalances with the objective of securing higher levels of authority (Shedid, 2019). Security and confidentiality risks would also be prominent, both of which are critical to the smooth functioning of the banking and financial services industry. The investigations revealed that NAB was also responsible for impropriety when engaging in foreign exchange trading (Frost &Eyers, 2016). Empowering the employees in this regard could further increase similar incidents, as the employees themselves would benefit from a higher degree of control and influence over the bank’s operations. While empowering the employees could lead to higher levels of retention and productivity, it could simultaneously jeopardize the recruitment of new, high performing employees as the senior employees could create barriers with regards to exerting their authority for having stuck with the bank post the commission. Employee empowerment could also degrade the quality of interpersonal relations within NAB, thus hinder the operations further. While it would lead to higher job satisfaction for the employees, it could work negatively for the managers. ?

Ariza Aguilera, D. A. (2018). Designing an Organizational Culture Model in the Projects Environment: a Constructivist Approach. CES Psicología, 11(1), 118-133.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission.(2021). 16-022MR ASIC bans former NAB bank adviser for seven years. Retrieved 3 February 2021, from

Bloom, D. (2020). Employee Empowerment: The Prime Component of Sustainable Change Management. CRC Press.

Burns, C. J. M., Houghton, L., & Stewart, H. (2020). Sustainability–A key to Australian finance directors improving their organisation's CSR culture. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(2), 1164-1176.

Commonwealth Bank. (2020). Commonwealth Bank Annual General Meeting: Chairman's Address. (2021). Retrieved 3 February 2021, from Danckert, S. (2016). Senior NAB financial planner banned for deceptive conduct. Retrieved 3 February 2021, from

Frost, J., &Eyers, J. (2016). CBA and NAB admit impropriety in foreign exchange trading. (2016). Retrieved 3 February 2021, from

Mohapatra, I., &Sundaray, B. K. (2018, March).Impact of employee empowerment on employee performance. In International Journal of Advanced Technology and Engineering Research, National Conference on Recent Trends in Science, Technology and Management (Vol. 1, pp. 98-102).

Schein, E. H., & Schein, P. (2017). Organizational Culture and Leadership 5th ed.

Schmulow, A., Fairweather, K., & Tarrant, J. (2018). Twin Peaks 2.0: reforming Australia’s financial regulatory regime in light of failings exposed by the Banking Royal Commission. Law and Financial Markets Review, 12(4), 193-202.

Shedid, M. (2019). Employee empowerment and customer satisfaction: an investigation from a UAE banking-sector perspective.

Wahyuningsih, S. H., Sudiro, A., Troena, E. A., &Irawanto, D. (2019). Analysis of organizational culture with denison’s model approach for international business competitiveness. Problems and perspectives in management, (17, Iss. 1), 142-151.

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