In CIMB, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s participative leadership style can be seen in his establishment of various management: Organization Behavior Case Study, SU, Malaysia

University Sunway University (SU)
Subject Organizational Behaviour

In CIMB, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s participative leadership style can be seen in his establishment of various management committees to assist him in the discharge of his duties throughout the course of pre- and post-bank merger and acquisition exercises. Each committee operates under approved terms of reference and is led by a committee chairman.

Among all the work committees, Group Management Committee consists of respective heads from 5 main business divisions and 11 other functional divisions. They will meet once every quarter or as and when required to review the progress of business performance, risk management, contingency plan, and formulation of the group’s vision planning and policy. In addition, all the business divisions are supported by group-wide divisions which perform middle and back-office functions. These divisions are:

  • Group information and operation
  • Group strategy
  • Group Finance
  • Group risk management
  • Group corporate resources
  • Group CEO’s office

Under each business division, there will be respective regional managers to oversee business in different areas to ensure proper management. These regional managers will have to go headquarter to present their reports on a monthly basis to the Group Management Committee and to discuss any major or minor issues.

As far as business is concerned, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak is very hands-on and he will look into every single detail to ensure high integrity and efficiency in work at every level. He is fully committed to his business.

In CIMB, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak will brief all the staff through teleconferencing every Monday morning in what is known as the Monday Morning Briefing. During the briefing, he will normally give his view of the economy, stress the vision of the company, explains any issues that may have risen in the previous week, and also tell his staff of his expectation from time to time.

In this way, every staff is aware of the company’s direction and his expectation as a boss and thus will be able to work in a more effective manner. Datuk Seri Nazir Razak is a very charismatic leader who is very good in both his written and verbal communication – which is always simple to understand. He is fluent in Bahasa Malaysia and English and has given many impromptu speeches. He has appeared countless times in both local and foreign media to be interviewed about his life, his work, and his company.

He values staff who are able to bring a breakthrough concept or result to the company. In fact, he will reward staff based on merit and his management teams usually comprise people ‘Forward banking, our new tagline, is the core message of all our communications.

The concept of thinking forward spearheads our advertising content and is encapsulated in the expression ‘Bank on us to see beyond.’ It says we strive to look for value where others do not, that we look beyond the present, the obvious, and the norm to capture opportunities for our customers.

He is also concerned about the welfare of his staff. In the recent petrol hike, all his staff members are given a month windfall bonus actually came as a surprise and all of the staff have felt so touched by his kindness and generosity, especially those of the lower level income group.


  • What are the restraining and driving forces faced by CIMB in order to become a universal bank?
  • Is there any evidence of organizational learning happening in CIMB?
  • How did Datuk Seri Nazir Razak minimize the resistance to change? What could he have done better?

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