Economic Policy Review
Corporate Culture in Banking
August 2016 Volume 22, Number 1
JEL classification: G21, G28
Author: Anjan Thakor

Until recently, regulatory discourse has paid scant attention to the issue of organizational culture in banking. Yet ethical lapses and systematic weaknesses exposed in the 2007-09 financial crisis suggest that future policy dialogue is unlikely to ignore culture’s significance. Drawing from an approach developed in organizational behavior research, the author introduces a framework for diagnosing and changing corporate culture in a way that more effectively supports the bank’s growth strategy and induces behavior that enhances financial stability. The normative exercise, highlighting the tensions and trade-offs arising from competing organizational goals, is useful for bank leaders seeking to foster a specific culture. An examination of bank culture under the “Competing Values Framework” also offers insights for policymakers designing regulations that proactively address foreseeable problems.
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