Most organizations lack policy formulation for effective organizational performance is not usually carried out properly due to lack of appreciation and knowledge of the relevance of policy making and implementation on organizational growth.Descriptive research design was used in carrying out this research work and the regression analysis was used to analyse the data. The specific objectives of the study were:to establish the prevalence of policy formulation as a tool for organizational performance,to determine the challenges facing policy formulation for organizational growth and to assess the effects of policy formulation on organizational performance.
1.1 Background to the Study
Every organization aims to survive and grow in a competitive environment. To do so, it must respond and adjust to the social, economic and political environmental changes that occur. The environments of public organizations according to (Bryson, 2004) have become not only increasingly uncertain in recent years but also more tightly interconnected; thus changes anywhere in the system reverberate unpredictably, and often chaotically and dangerously throughout the environment. This increased uncertainty and interconnectedness requires a response from public organizations. First, these organizations must think strategically as never before. Second, they must translate their insights into effective strategies to cope with their changing circumstances and lastly, they must develop the rationale necessary to lay the ground work for the adoption and implementation of their strategies.
For strategic planning to be effective and useful, there must be commitment and involvement across all levels of the organization, overcome inherent problems such as; rivalry among departments, projects, resistance to change, resource requirement, resources allocation and so on. The policy initiatives and directions set up by firm management in the form of mission and vision statements and targets for cost saving, debt/equity ratios embodied as argued by Grant (2003) “a framework of constraints and objectives that bounded and directed strategic choices.” Strategic policy formulation has been embraced by business enterprises, the public and private sectors as an important avenue that can be utilized to lead effective organization performance. Strategic policy formulationis the first phase in strategic management process and sets the basis for the other phases (Policy implementation, evaluation and control). (Steiner, 1979) argues that strategic planning system provides the framework for formulating and implementing strategies. However, it is argued that for strategic planning to translate into results, a facilitative internal environment and culture must be present. Ansoff (1990) notes that environment is constantly changing, and so it makes it imperative for organizations to continuously adapt their activities in order to succeed. Strategic planning introduces changes that sometimes encounter organizational resistance. Thompson and Strickland (1989) add that galvanizing organization-wide commitment to the chosen strategic plan is critical for effective performance.
There is always a need for policy making in the banking sector especially in First Bank of Nigeria due to the change in the administrative head. The integration brings about framing of policies to guide managerial action. Policymaking became the prime responsibility for effective management system.The implementation phase in strategic management process consists of a set of activities by which the top management assures that the strategic choice is communicated and related to both the organization and its people. This is to say that implementation encompasses the activity of developing the organizational structure and climate best suited for the implementation of the chosen or adopted policy.This task is therefore important in the life of any organization wishing to survive and to grow cannot be over-emphasized considering the dynamic nature of the world we are in today. However, for management system to effectively carry out this task of achieving their corporate objectives, the management must aim itself with the tools of strategic policy formulationand implementation to enable it to adjust to the environment changes surrounding them.It is in the light of this that the researcher aimed to investigate onimproving the performance of an organisation through effective policy formulation using the First Bank of Nigeria as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The management of most organizations in Nigeria today have been facing the problem of not knowing how to achieve their corporate objectivesas a result of lack of proper strategic policy formulation. This problem which has defile may management approaches is what the researcher is aimed at solving.Many organizations spend most of their time realizing and reacting to ill expected changes and problems instead of anticipating and preparing for them. This is called crisis management. They use up their energy coping with inundated problems with little energy left to anticipate and prepare for the next challenges. This is however causing setbacks for some organizations. This study will therefore investigate on improving the performance of an organisation through effective policy formulation using the First Bank of Nigeria as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What is the prevalence of policy making and implementation as a tool for organizational performance?
ii) What are the challenges facing policy formulation for organizational growth?
iii) What are the effects of policy formulation on organizational performance?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study was to investigate onimproving the performance of an organisation through effective policy formulation using the First Bank of Nigeria as a case study. The specific objectives are:
i) To establish the prevalence of policy making and implementation as a tool for organizational performance.
ii) To determine the challenges facing policy formulation for organizational growth.
iii) To assess the effects of policy formulation on organizational performance.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there is no significant relationship between policy formulation and organizational performance
ii) there is no significant correlation between policy formulation and top management subordinates on increase in performance
iii) there is no significant difference between employees commitment and policy formulation
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings from this study will be of great value to policy makers, stakeholders, board of directors and Human Resource Managers, bankers, etc as it will assess the relevance of policy formulation on organizational performance, clarify the challenges and the ways to meet them. It will act as a useful resource for the banking sector in understanding the need and usefulness of adopting appropriate strategic planning that ensures improved organizational performance. Researchers in related areas will also find the study a useful literature for reference.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was limited to the First Bank of Nigeria staff and therefore the questionnaires will be distributed to the employees of the organisation.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The only constraint encountered by the researcher was finance. This limited the researcher to print just one hundred and twenty questionnaires as against the proposed two hundred and fifty questionnaires. The researcher, however, came up with findings that would be worth making reference to in future and also contribute to the existing literature.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Policy formulation:the making of ideas or plans that are used by an organization or government as a basis for making decisions
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Steiner, G. A. (1979). Strategic planning. New York: Free Press.
Thompson, A. A. and Strickland, A. J. (1989).Policyformulation and implementation:
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