A study of the financial and management performance of the Kuwaiti commercial banks
The primary research objectives were to ascertain and evaluate management performance practices and generate recommendations that might help in improving overall performance in Kuwaiti commercial banks. A theoretical framework for the financial and management performance of Kuwaiti banks was, therefore, developed and the research objectives and hypotheses were translated into relevant policy issues. These issues were identified by conducting field research in Kuwait. Kuwait was chosen because it is the country of the author and also constitutes an important developing country within the gulf. Six Kuwaiti commercial banks were surveyed to ascertain management opinion on management performance practices. These banks were: National Bank of Kuwait, Gulf Bank of Kuwait, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Burgan Bank, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, and The Bank of Kuwait and The Middle East. The methodology used to test the hypotheses and achieve the research objectives incorporated a mail questionnaire which was distributed to 108 branch managers through the main offices of each bank. This part of the field survey was conducted simultaneously with 12 face-to-face interviews with senior executives i. e. two interview per study bank. When the field survey was completed the results were analysed and conclusions were drawn regarding the hypotheses and policy issues. In summary, the main findings of the study were that: management performance is dependent on: management training, management resource planning, performance related pay; and external environmental factors (local economy, bank internal regulations, customer satisfaction, inadequate information technology resources, bank size, bank location, and cultural considerations). However, rather interestingly, one of the external factors, social and personal ties (wastah) had no affect on management performance. Personal and job-related considerations such as educational qualifications, manager's age, manager's monthly salary, etc., had an affect on individual management performance but other factors such as the manager's nationality, and gender, had no affect. The findings of this research, as well as the evidence from previous studies, showed that management performance in Kuwait is frustrated by interrelated and interdependent contextual elements. Management performance as a multidimensional and multipurpose-activity has yet to be fully comprehended in Kuwait. Social and cultural considerations, such as intimate social tics and social status, are important and complicated issues which undoubtedly affect management performance. Consequently, there is a national misconception about the significance of management performance and the effect cultural consideration and personal ties (wastah), have on a scientific approach to the management performance process in Kuwaiti banks.