21 Pages Posted: 7 May 2010 Last revised: 2 Nov 2013
Date Written: May 7, 2010
This case highlights ABN AMRO Banco Real, a Brazilian bank, whose top management embarked on a humanistic transformation process when faced with a post-merger situation. As the CEO of a very typical bank, Fabio Barbosa examined the possibilities of creating a culture of shared values to better integrate the different banking branches. Exhibiting all the traits of a transformational leader, he reflected on the normative basis of banking in general. Together with his team, he concluded that the new organization needed to be of service to the community, while serving authentic needs; only then would they be able to create a shared culture among the diverse workforce. Many of the community’s needs were rooted in the social and environmental problems that Brazil faced. Implementing a transformation could, however, only be accomplished by refocusing the purpose of the bank towards creating social value instead of maximizing its profits. This proposition required profit as a means, but not an end in itself. A new philosophy, ‘banking with values’, has been the crux of the cultural revolution that has taken place in the organization ever since. New products and services have been created, the bank continues to be profitable, and has in turn created high levels of stakeholder trust.
Keywords: Bank, Brazil, Organizational change, humanism, Transformation
JEL Classification: I3, I30, I00, I31, M00, M1, M10, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Palacios, Patricia and Pirson, Michael, ABN AMRO REAL: A New Bank for a New Society (May 7, 2010). Fordham University Schools of Business Research Paper No. 2010-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1602020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1602020