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  • Background to the Study

The going concern, survival and continuous existence of an organization have been described as a function of the processes, human capital and relevance of such business in the environment in which it operates. However, business failure has occurred over the years despite the fact that the business is relevant in its environment, the existence of efficient and effective human capital and a successful systematic process.

According to the Harvard Business School research on business and organization failure, over 82% of new businesses do not survive the first 2 years while 75% of the remainder donot survive the next 5 years. Business failure in recent times have been attributed to systematic failure of the business process as aresult of volatility and dynamism of the business environments which makes future occurrence significantly unpredictable.

Also, Business Process Re-engineering is neither simple nor intuitive. As many managers are discovering re-engineering usually brings with it major problems and, often, failure. A recent survey of Chief Information Officers showed that re-engineering projects consistently fall short of their expected benefits (BELMONTE93, MOAD93). It is estimated thatbetween 50% and 70% of the re-engineering efforts fail to achieve the goals set for them and figures from evaluations of TQM indicate the same results (STEWART93).

Even though impressing results have been achieved, the high rate of failure leads to an immense waste of resources in many organizations. This waste might be avoided, if change agents would gain genuine knowledge about the concept they are struggling with.

To mitigate the continuous and helpless business failures, strategic business managers, professionals and business scholars have developed various turn around management models and tools to help organizations weather the storm of hard business periods. Some of these modern turn around strategic include SWOT analysis that is used to analyzeorganization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, Quick Environmental Scanning technique (QEST) to understand the volatility of business environments, Total Quality Management (TQM), Just In Time Approach (JIT), Mergers, Acquisition and business combinations to consolidate strength and dominate market, Learning Curve Theory, System and sub-system model, Synergies, Employee motivation, Competitors and customers wheel Analysis and other mathematical model to forecast, predict and prevent business failures. Some of these models are also used to improve organization performance and global competitiveness. Experience has shown in recent times that the use of a single model to predict and prevent business failure may be ineffective and not failure proof, hence the development of a more strategic model encompassing all tools that may be used to prevent failure. This modern tool is what is named Business Process Re-engineering. It is a holistic approach that identifies, analyses, and redesigns an organization’s core business processes, human capital,and technology and information management.

Definitional, Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, services, and speed. Business Process Re-engineering is one approach for redesigning the way work is done to better support the organization’s mission statement, goals and objectives, reduce cost and makes organization super productive and ultimately failure proof. The banking sectors both in Nigeria and internationally is not an exception in the use of this strategy to enhance corporate survival.

  • Statement of the Problem

Different tools have been used by different managers to improve their business processes.After adopting these methods such as the mergers and acquisition,business combinations,consumer wheels analysis and simulations methods,researchers finds out that business still fails and collapse.

Therefore the researcher will look into the reason why business still fail by applying different other methods under Business Process Re-engineering such as Automation of work process,Job redesign,Restructuring,Rationalization of staff,Cooperative team working and Creation of innovative idea.We would therefore look into what are business,business process,business process re-engineering and corporate survival.

  • Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this study is to determine the relationship between BPR and corporate survival especially as it relates to organizations that are about to collapse. Sterling Bank of Nigeria PLC will be used as a case study.

To meet this aim and objectives, this study will focus on the following specific objectives which are to;

  • determine whether organization both in Nigeria and abroad is to use BPR as a strategy to enhance corporate survival at all;
  • determine and describe the various BPR strategies adopted by Sterling Bank PLC to survive failure in the period of storms;
  • determine the actual impact and relationship between BPR and corporate survival for organizations on the verge of collapse;
  • analyze and discuss the outcome of the investigation with a view to putting it to use and making practical suggestions on how to employ BPR as a solution tool for ensuring survival for organizations and to effectively improve firms’ performance.


These are some of the questionnaire going to be used for this research.

  1. Business Process Re-engineering strategies has been employed by the bank especially to survive the banks failure and do you agree that the strategies are associated with re-engineering?
  2. What effectdo the Business Process Re-engineering strategies have on bank?
  3. Has the Business Process Re-engineering project resulted in the following employee improvement?
  4. Do you agree that the banking industry now perform its economy roles better than before?
  • Hypotheses of the Study

For the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses are postulated;

H0:Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) does not have any

significant relationship with corporate survival when used as a solution to enhance survival.

H1:Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) dohave any significant relationship with corporate survival when used as a solution to enhance survival.

H0: That there has been no effect of Business Process Re-engineering strategies on the bank leading to significant gains in speed and productivity.

H2: That there has been effect of Business Process Re-engineering strategies on the bank leading to significant gains in speed and productivity.

H0: That the banking industry do not perform its economy roles better than before.

H3: That the banking industry now perform its economy roles better than before.

  • Justification for the Study

This study is of significant importance to organization and the society at large, most especially firms and organizations that are experiencing business downturn and are on the verge of collapse. Its importance cannot be over estimated as it will be useful for organization in devising useful- working survival strategy to militate against the effect of process failures that ultimately leads to collapse. Furthermore, it will dovetail to both public and private organization the relationship between BPR as a working survival strategy and improved performance that follows the use of the tool in ultimately ensuring the survival of an organization that is on verge of collapse. It will also show the importance of the tool in the bench marking competitors in this highly competitive business world.

Besides, the study will help fellow scholars and researchers, other individuals, firms, and even government in taking effective decision pertaining to strategies that can be used to prevent business failures in our society.

1.7Scope and Limitations of the Study

The concept BPR is certainly a complex one. However, for the purpose of this study the scope will be narrowed down to include a few relevant topics as we relate business process re-engineering strategies to survival of organization that are liquidating and on the verge of failure.Though various organizationworld over have used and are still using BPR as tool, our focus will be on its use by Sterling Bank PLC.

The major constraint and limitations to this study will be the reluctance of some key respondents to disclose some information by referring to such information as confidential and classified. The information required to carry out this project are of the nature of strategies and the bank may not want them to be disclosed to or used by similar organization (banks) who may act as competitors in the industry.

Limited financial resources,transportation risk, time constraint and the peculiar nature of the school calendar also will make this exercise tedious.

1.8 Historical Background of Case Study

The history of the now Sterling Bank can be traced as far back as 1960. In 1960, Nigerian Acceptance Limited, NAL was incorporated as an Acceptance Agency in the country. It was licensed as a bank in 1969 to accept deposits and loan to customers.

In January 2006, following the recapitalization exercise, Nigeria Acceptance Bank[NAB] completed a merger with four other Nigerian Banksnamely Magnum Trust Bank, Indo-Nigeria Merchant Bank,NBM Bank Ltd and Trust Bank of Africa Plc. The combined banks adopted the new branded name Sterling Bank with it’s headquarter in Lagos, Nigeria.

The bank portfolio covers Assets and portfolio management, Stock brokerage, Insurance Brokerage, Commercial Banking, Pension Fund Administration,savings, Investment Banking and Mortgages. As of September 2008,the bank branch network exceeded 100,scattered in all part of Nigeria. As at march 2011,the bank total assets were valued in excess of US$1.78billion[NGN: 279.3b]with shareholder equity estimated at about $168.4m[NGN:26.4b].

1.9Definition of Terms

The concepts and term used in this study are explained below with simplified definitions.

Business: A business is any entity, firm or organization that is engage in the production of goods and rendering of services with the ultimate aim of making profit. Some business may be established not with the sole aim of making profit. It is also defined as the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects.

Business Process: A business process is a set of logically related tasks and procedures performed to achieve a defined business objective and outcome. It may involve an input output systems, procedures and sub systems.

Process: A process is a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market.

Business Process Re–engineering (BPR): This is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed.

Strategy: This is defined as an elaborate and systematic plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. It is the tactics, ingenuity and action plan designed to get a particular thing done.

Tool: A tool, broadly defined, is an entity that interfaces between two or more domains; that facilitates more action of one domain upon the other.

Corporate Survival: Corporate survival is simply defined as a solution when an organization that is bound to liquidate or fail going by all statistics remain alive and continually improve buoyancy. It simply signifies escaping failure or business death i.e. maintaining going concern status.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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