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ISBM – Bill Corwin was employed by a large bank for several years. He started as a messenger, and then was assigned to a branch.

Principles and Practice of Management


Case (20 Marks)

Bill Corwin was employed by a large bank for several years. He started as a messenger and then was assigned to a branch. He progressed in this branch from a bookkeeping clerk to a platform assistant. In this position, he had a variety of duties largely centering on administrative assistance to the officers of the branch. The bank’s many branches were divided regionally, each region having a group of officers responsible for the branches in that region. Bill was transferred from the branch in which he had worked for 12 years to a branch in another region. At the time of his transfer, he was told that the branch was completely “run down” as to operational procedures and systems. The branch had a normal complement of 4 officers and 35 staff members. One month before Bill’s transfer, one of the four officers had retired, and two weeks after this retirement the branch manager was hospitalized with a serious illness. When Bill arrived at his new assignment, he found a rather demoralized situation. A complete lack of interest was shown by the two remaining officers and the rest of the staff was not properly trained or disciplined. The two officers did not know Bill, and they were informed by the regional office that he was being assigned to the branch as a platform replacement for only two weeks. During his first week at the branch Bill discovered that the senior clerks were not qualified to train other staff members, customer complaints were rampant, there was both a record of excessive absenteeism and excessive overtime, and the branch had received very poor audit reports by the bank’s internal auditors with the same major exceptions reported on the previous four audits. After two weeks Bill was called to the regional office and offered the job of operations officer. He was told that he would receive the official title in two months,. He was also told that the present operations officer, who had held the job at this branch for seven years, was to be relieved of all operational responsibilities and that he would be instructed to work with Bill until the branch was functioning effectively. Bill returned to the branch and started on his assignment. He found the former operations officer cooperative for about one week. Bill then decided to go ahead without the help of the former operations officer. Over the next three months, he worked almost every night until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. He tried to correct the problems that had developed over several years. The training of employees involved considerable time, and he found it necessary to release 12 clerks who were causing trouble in various ways. The remaining staff and replacements started to function smoothly. He received his title as promised. Then the branch manager returned to work after his prolonged illness. A week after his return he called Bill to his office and questioned his efforts in the branch. He told Bill that the former operations officer had mentioned that he was an upsetting influence in the branch, had fired several good people, did not know his job, and that he left his job early several days a week.

Answer the following question.


Q1. If you were Bill, how would you answer the branch manager?


Q2. Did the regional office handle Bill’s transfer properly? Explain


Q3. What should be done by the regional office now?


Q4. Do you believe that Bill can function effectively as a manager in this branch? Justify.


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