Merges Between Barclays And Lehman Brothers


Executive Summary

In the above learning outcome we can see in what ways a company faces challenges relating to the individual, group and the organisational level. It is clearly seen that organisational behaviour is very necessary as related to the human resource in the company to ensure smooth flowing of all the business activities. All these theories are better understood with the help of the Barclays and Lehman brothers' integration case study.

In the above learning outcome we can see through the case study of the integration of Barclays and Lehman brothers that how motivation, support, perks and allocation of responsibilities in a proper way can help the newly joined employees with getting along with the Barclays staff and gel together to perform to their fullest ability for the company's and their own sake. It can be seen that they just need small amount of motivation to fix them up or make themselves comfortable in the company and avoid any further people leaving the company due to reasons like unfamiliar surroundings, unclear positions and responsibilities etc.


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Some people may naturally think that organisational behaviour is the field which is only related to managers and leaders as they often set the agenda for everyone else. However, it is meant for everyone right from the lower level of the management to the highest level in the organisation. Organisational behaviour can be defined as, "it is a field of study that investigates that how individuals, groups and structures affect and are affected by behaviour within the organisation. Behaviour refers to what people do in the organisation, hoe they perform and what are their attitudes. Because the organisations studied are often business organisations, OB is frequently applied in the work place to handle issues such as absenteeism, job satisfaction, turnover, motivation, productivity and working in groups. With the help of OB research managers often apply this knowledge to manage things more effectively."


OB considers that the three levels of the organisation i.e. individual, group and organisational level. Each level is constructed upon the previous level. These levels are contributing a variety of activities in the organisation. The challenges faced at each of this level are:-

Challenges at individual level:-at this level first of all managers need to know the attitudes, behaviour patterns, perceptions, values etc of people working around them. Organisations expect to keep improving their performance by taking more responsibilities than ever before. Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the individuals in the organisation is behaving ethically. Here the individual needs to possess the quality of the following variables which can be seen as below:-

Ability: - the employees' level of performance is directly influenced by ability. ability is again divide into 2 things:-

Intellectual ability: - these are the abilities required to perform mental activities-for thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Compared to others smart people generally earn more and attain higher level of education. The seven most frequently cited dimensions making up intellectual abilities are number aptitude, verbal comprehension, perceptual speed, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, spatial visualisation and memory.

Physical ability:-physical ability is the capacity to do tasks that demand stamina, dexterity, strength and similar characteristics. Research on the requirements needed in hundreds of jobs has identified nine basic abilities involved in the performance of physical tasks. These are dynamic strength, trunk strength, static strength, explosive strength, extent flexibility, dynamic flexibility, body coordination, balance and stamina.

Biographical characteristics:-these are readily observable to managers. However just because they are observe able doesn't mean they should be explicit. We also need to be aware of implicit biases we or other managers may have.

Learning:- any observable change in behaviour is prima facie evidence that learning has taken place managers are advised to practise reinforcement than punishment.

Challenges at the group level: - the behaviour of people at the group level is more than the sum total of all the people's behaviour individually. At this level the communication sometimes becomes difficult because of office politics and interpersonal relations. Hence greater interpersonal relations are required. Also in the organisations people from different cultures come together. Thus, it is very important to learn how to work with people with different cultures. At the group level the following variables should be taken into consideration.

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Performance:-a number of group properties show a relationship with performance like role perception, norms, status differences, size of group and cohesiveness. There is a positive relationship between role perception and employees performance evaluation. Norms control the group behaviour by establishing the standards of right and wrong. The norms of a given group can help to explain the behaviour of its members for managers. Status inequities can create frustration and can adversely influence productivity and the willingness to remain with an organisation. Larger groups are more effective at fact finding activities while smaller groups are more effective at action taking tasks. Cohesiveness can play an important function in influencing a group's level of productivity.

Satisfaction:-high congruence between a boss and an employee according to role perception-performance relationship shows a significant association with high employee satisfaction. Similarly role conflict is associated with job induced tension and job dissatisfaction. We should expect greater satisfaction between employees whose job minimizes interaction with individuals who are lower in status than themselves. The group size satisfaction relationship is what one would intuitively expect. Larger groups are normally associated with lower satisfaction.

Challenges at the organisational systems level: - this is the most complicated level with regards to the organisational behaviour. The main challenges faced at this level are related to productivity where effectives and efficiency is given a greater importance, global competition where being balanced is very important and managing and working in the multicultural world where employees and managers are required to work with people from different cultures globally. Organisation structure constraints employees to the extent that it limits and controls what they do. For example, organisation structure towards high level of formalization and specialization strict adhere to the chain of command, limited delegation of authority and narrow spans of control give employees give employees a little autonomy. Strategy, size, size, technology and economy determine the type of structure design of an organisation should ideally be mechanistic or organic. Finally, increasingly technology is reshaping work such that organisational structures may be increasingly amorphous. This allows a manager the flexibility of taking into account things like employee preference, experience, and culture so as to design work system that truly motivates the employees.


Above mentioned were the challenges faced by an organisation. Now we will see the issues faced by the organisation. There are few absolutes in organisational behaviour:-

A noted behavioural researcher aptly concluded, "God gave all the easy problems to the physicists. "Human beings are complex. Because we are not alike, our ability to make a simple, accurate and sweeping generalisation is limited. In the same situation, two people generally or often act very differently. For example everyone is not only motivated by money, you may behave differently at church on Sunday than you did at the party the night before.

That doesn't mean off course that we can't offer reasonably accurate explanations' of human behaviour or make valid predictions. However, it does mean that OB concepts must reflect behavioural, or contingency, conditions. We can say that 'x' leads to 'y' but only under conditions specified in 'z'(the contingency variable).the science of OB was developed by applying general concepts to a particular situation, person or group. For example OB scholars would avoid stating that everyone likes complex or challenging work (the general concept). Why? Because not everyone wants a challenging job. Some people prefer the routine over the varied, while some prefer the simple over the complex. In other words the job which is appealing to one person may not be to another, so the appeal of the job is contingent on the person who holds it.

People are complex and complicated so too must be the theories developed to explain their actions.

In order to come over all these issues related to the organisational behaviours managers take should take the help of the challenges that come their way. The challenges are related to all the three levels in the organisations as explained in detail above. It is important to look at the individual needs of the employees in order to keep them motivated that would help them in performing their work more effectively and efficiently.


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According to my perceptions the manager should follow a proper order relating to have high performing employees which relates to individual level challenges:-

Firstly an effective selection process will improve the fit. a job analysis will provide the necessary information about jobs currently being done and the abilities that individuals need to perform the jobs adequately. Applicants can then be tested, interviewed, and evaluated on the degree to which they possess the necessary activities.

Secondly promotions and transfer decisions affecting individuals already in the organisation's employ should reflect the ability of candidates. As with new employees care should be taken to assess critical abilities.

Thirdly the fit can be improved by fine tuning the job to better match as incumbent's ability. Examples would be changing some of the equipments used or reorganising tasks within a group of employees.

Regarding the group level challenges managers should:-

An explanation needs to be given to the employees regarding the fact that the shift from working alone to working on teams requires employees to cooperate with others, share information, confront differences and sublimate personal differences for the greater good of the team. For making the team effective they should have adequate resources, effective leadership, a climate of trust, and a performance evaluation and reward system that reflects team contribution. These teams will have individuals with technical expertise as well as problem solving, decision making and interpersonal skills and the right traits especially openness and conscientiousness.

Regarding the organisational system level challenges:-

The manager should first of all make clear the basis for the argument that structure has an impact on both attitudes and behaviour. It provides an answer to questions like "what am I supposed to do'' "how am I supposed to do'' ''to whom do I report'' etc. it shapes their attitudes and facilitates and motivates them to higher level of performance.

About Barclays PLC.

Barclays PLC is a global financial service provider with 144,000 employees and is engaged in commercial and retail banking, credit cards, wealth management, investment management services and operates through six business segments: UK banking, Barclay cards, international, retail and commercial banking, Barclays wealth. (factive 2008).its US banking business was expanded with the acquisition of the US business of Lehman brothers in September 2008(lambe 2008).

The firm's investment banking division's vision was to become the premier global bank in risk management and financing and the Lehman acquisition was a transformational change meant to bring the business to premium global bank status (schults 2008).the investment banking business, the Barclays capital and the investment management business, Barclays global investors and Barclays wealth are managed by bob diamond.


Barclays was faced with three most critical issues while or during the integration with Barclays. These issues would be briefly explained as below. All of this information is based on the secondary research which was derived from or through conversation with the Barclays staff who had experienced changes in the Barclays since the last few months. The issues can be seen as follows.

Integration of the Lehman brothers with Barclays: - the main issues in the organisation were due to the integration of the Lehman brothers with US businesses. To minimize the disruption in the business this had to be done as soon as possible, and mitigate the transfer of other customers to investment banks. While the integration process was pursued very quickly by the Barclays, it resulted a lot of stress being created among the staff in the bank which also resulted into some departing the bank for other opportunities (masters, 2008).the external environment made the already existent issue of uncertainty of the decisions which saw the worsening of the financial crisis in the market. In the integration of the business the leadership of Barclays and the Lehman brothers played a very important role. The main issue here in this topic is that due to all these integrational problems the people who were suffering totally due to this were the overstressed employees.

Culture of Barclays versus Lehman brothers:-along with the issue of integration another issue that the firm faced was that both the firms operations were different enough to cause clashes among or between the staffs of both the organisations. the number of staff staying put in the organisation was the key indicator in the success of the integration of the acquisition of the businesses(saigol, 2008).a few concerns were raised regarding the fact that the integration was not processing effectively as there was a number of staff of the Lehman brothers who did not join Barclays or eventually joined other organisations of their interest with lesser work load or having better working conditions while some of them just left the firm due to the integration process. Also Barclays was accused of not handling the integration process effectively which resulted in the departure of the staff from the Lehman brothers organisation.

Lehman staff's motivation:-third issue faced by the organisations in this case was the motivation of the Lehman staff. a large uncertainty was placed among the staff due to the integration of the Barclays and the Lehman staff. Also the staffs were personally impacted in various ways because of the failure of the bank. A large number of the Lehman brother's staff had left the organisation or the new firm almost fifty days since the acquisition of the Lehman brothers by Barclays (Wilson 2008).the staff who had continued with the newly integrated firm were not motivated as there was or remained a lot of uncertainty about their role in the organisation. The reason for their not being motivated was that they were unsure about what kind of implications they would have to face personally and professionally due to the move in Barclays. Basically they were not confident enough to work in the organisation because of all the issues mentions above. These issues had largely affected the staff of Lehman brothers who would be joining in Barclays.

The management of the staff in a firm should be proactive, effective, to the point and proper. This helps in motivating the employees which is very essential for the organisation as it is directly related to their job satisfaction which would in turn result in the employees working for the organisation effectively and efficiently and helping the organisation in yielding good profits. For example if an employee is not working properly or not giving in proper time to finish their work resulting into last minute problems, the manager should speak rather than shouting at them asking about the reasons for this kind of behaviour and politely explaining them about the problems caused to the smooth flow of workings in the business so that the employees understands the problems in a positive way and changes his attitude towards work.


After finding out the issues of the Barclays case with specific reference to human resource the case would be analysed as below and findings can also be seen as follows.

Integration of the US business of Lehman brothers with Barclays:-the leadership in Barclays as well as the resulting organisational commitment of the Lehman staff are the very important aspects that will hold a key position in the integration of the Lehman US business. The positive impact on the integration of the businesses and the role of lowering the role stress among the employees can be achieved through the perfect leadership style by the managers and organisational commitment by working effectively and efficiently(dale and fox 2008).proper leadership style and organisational commitment will also lead in the staff emotions being impacted which is a key determinant in the coping theory in knowing the way that the staff are coping with the considerable organisational changes due to the integration of these two organisations(fugate, kinicky and Prussia, 2008).the stress on the staff will place influence on how integration is approached by the Lehman staff. The factors responsible for the effectiveness leadership and firm performance are the leadership in Barclays with social influence theory guiding the argument in the trust development between employees and leaders (Douglas and kivnouska, 2008).the actions going forward are supposed to build up the organisational commitment of the Lehman staff and ensure effectiveness of leadership of the Barclays senior manager based on the cited theories of organisational behaviour. All of the above mentioned will result in the Lehman senior managers moving to Barclays and will entail a strong and regular communication.

Barclay's culture versus Lehman culture: - it is natural for a clash to be created with the integration of the two respected and established organisations that is supposed to be resolved internally in the integration. Among the staffs of the two organisations the potential disputes were provided with an obvious basis due to the integration. The organisation theories are considered as open systems by the organisation and as such is characterised by numerous conflicts among their subsystems and operating parts (Katz and kahan 1978).the conflicts that existed or started manifesting in the integration of the businesses had to be controlled or managed properly. Barclays had an advantage as a key surviving entity to be the dominant culture among the two organisations. Through the allocation of rewards and resource allocation the Barclays management can effectively control the conflicts in order to minimize the conflicts in the integration of the businesses (schein, 1992; Fischer 2008). The management and control of conflicts would be through:-

Giving out promotions at the year end and giving out recognition for pre-acquisition activities.

Providing meaningful reward to the Lehman staff despite of the fact that they have been working only for 6 months in the previous financial year with the Barclays business.

The provision of key responsibilities and roles to the Lehman staff.

Motivation of the Lehman staff:-an increase in the organisational commitment that Lehman staff has on Barclays will provide as an important aspect in keeping the Lehman staff motivated during the integration process. The enhancement of trust of employees on the leaders and managers of Barclays is very critical to the development of the organisational commitment. It is consistent with the social identity theory of the organisational behaviour where strong benefits to the organisation are achieved due to the trust of employees in their leaders and managers (Lau, lam and salamon 2008).thus in order to increase the organisational commitment from the Lehman staff Barclays leaders should thus focus on initiating action that would lead to it. The Barclays staffs have to play a role in motivating the Lehman staff along with increasing the organisational commitment of the Lehman staff. Here exists an option to pursue no action even if the Barclays organisation faces risk in losing the Lehman staff particularly those people with the best working skills and capacity. Here the bystander behaviour theory supports the line before and is not that helpful in making the organisation effective with strong theories and management staff (Gerstein and Shaw, 2008).the way to organise the bystander behaviour is by developing increased trust in the employees within the organisation. In improving the motivation of the Lehman staff and enhancing the organisational efficiency, both the leaders and the staff of Barclays have to work together.


Barclays is supposed to follow proper leadership and motivate the Lehman employees in order to motivate them to work with the organisation. Following theories are consistent with the organisational behaviour theories cited in the above learning outcome which would help Barclays:

Ensure regular communication in order to minimize the uncertainty that the Lehman staff face in the integration of the staff and businesses in the Barclays organisation.

Pursue the Lehman staff to show stability in integration and minimize the Lehman staff departure.

In the integration process of the Lehman staff motivation and commitment even the Barclays staff must be involved with the proactive management.

The above mentioned actions will result in the Lehman staff to integrate with the Barclay's organisation and staff at a better pace. The organisation will provide to be an example of a learning organisation due to the interaction of the employees with one another and also increase in the knowledge due to the interaction with peers. As a result of these organisations the process flow will improve with increased communication across the organisation lower the stress levels in the organisation. This will also lead to increase in the interaction between the employees and in turn it will help the Lehman staff to start establishing themselves in the organisation. In other words it will help emphasise the integration of the Barclays staff with the Lehman staff.

The head of human resource was presented with these conclusions for comments. Three among all of these actions were given a strong support as they are designed to help the integration of the organisation with the Lehman brothers. The human resource professional enhanced the recommendations further by adding the following solutions:-

The Lehman staffs are the leverage for Lehman people that are well respected in the organisation.

There should be practise of effective communication in the organisation and messages should be conveyed properly and also utilisation of various channels should be done for the same.

The Lehman staff should be involved only after doing proper communication in the organisation themselves about the objectives of the involvement and key message to be delivered.