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Unformatted text preview: The old, the young and the restless A comparative analysis of the impact of environmental change on training in four Greek banks Niki Glaveli and Stella Kufidu Department of Business Administration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present and analyse the changes that took place in the Greek banking industry in the last years, their impact on strategy and the role of employees training and development for strategy implementation and success. Design/methodology/approach Using four case studies attempts to investigate the effect of the environmental changes on these particular banks and the role of their training and development strategies in adjusting themselves to the changing industry environment. Findings Changes in the external environment have reshaped the banking industry environment. Responding to that Greek banks have adopted new strategies. Differentiation on the basis of quality offered and diversification were the main focus of their competitive strategy. The rapid growth and products diversity engendered by a changing internal and external environment fostered by deregulation created a need for additional and more focused training and development. The beneficial effects of training were expected in terms of skills, cultural and role changes, homogenisation and decrease of tensions and insecurities, motivation, commitment, customer satisfaction, reduction of conflict in the workplace and finally quality improvement. Originality/value Shows that the changes in the external environment have initiated an emphasis on more strategic and integrated training and development effort for Greek banks. Keywords Greece, Banks, Training management Paper type Research paper Introduction Until the mid 1980s the Greek banking industry was heavily regulated in all areas of activity. Price regulation and the various credit controls forced by the government created a stable environment where the concept of competition was almost unknown. Gradually, the deregulation of interest rates, the abolition of various credit controls, the further development of the capital market, the competition from non-bank institutions, the free movement of capital flows, and the fear of entrance of other European banking institutions into the Greek market led to significant changes into the market (Noulas and Glaveli, 2002). Although this has been a Europe-wide phenomenon, the pace, extent and the style of this deregulation have, of course, differences between countries (Petridou and Glaveli, 2003). The above changes combined with the suppression of banks profits and margins due to the loss of traditional inter-mediation revenues (fee and commission income) as well as the compression of the interest rate spread have intensified competition....
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