Strategic Quality Management Practices And Operational Performance Of Cement Manufacturing Firms In Kenya
Mburugu, Beth M
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The environment where organisations conduct their business is increasingly changing, and this has forced organisations to adapt to this environment for survival and continuance meeting of customer needs. Adoption and use of SQM practices is seen as a reliable way that organisations can use to marshal organisations and other actors towards achieving customer satisfaction at lower costs, minimization of wastage and superior quality. The research objectives of this study were to: establish the practices SQM used by cement manufacturing firms in Kenya and determine the link between SQM practices and OP. The study was guided by Resource-Based View, Knowledge-Based View and Resource Dependency Theory. To accomplish the goal of this study, a descriptive research survey was employed to establish current and existing conditions among variables as well as relationships between variables. A census survey of seven (7) cement manufacturing firms was conducted and primary data was collected with help of semi-structured questionnaires that were administered to: finance managers, quality assurance managers and operations managers by drop and pick them later at an agreed upon time with the researcher. The analysis of data was achieved through the use of descriptive statistics: mean, standard deviation and inferential statistics: regression analysis. The study found out that the most popular SQM practices embraced by cement manufacturing firms were business process re-engineering, benchmarking, ISO certification and six sigma. The findings further established that SQM practices were utilized to a great extent. It was further discovered that the regression model utilized in this study was a good fit for the data: the coefficient of determination was found to be 65.4%, and analysis was variance attained a p-value that was smaller than 5% (0.000), which implied the overall regression model was statistically significant. Business process re-engineering, Six Sigma and ISO certification were positively and significantly related to OP while benchmarking was insignificantly and negatively related to OP. It was concluded that the challenges that hindered successful implementation of SQM included training and development programs, finances, top management support. Other challenges were resistance to change and employee turnover. It is highly recommended that cement manufacturing firms should embrace internal benchmarking. Thus, departmental heads can easily borrow best practices from best performing department this will boost OP and impact on overall organisational performance. Top management should offer sufficient support and encourage employees to embrace SQM practices, and sponsor them to training and development programs to boost their skills and improve efficiency in their work. The main constraint of this research study is that the researcher was limited to time and resources and this limited the scope of the study to cement manufacturing firms as opposed to all manufacturing firms in Kenya. Therefore, it is required that future researchers should do a facsimile of this study to include all manufacturing firms in Kenya so as to do a comparison of findings after which a more exhaustive and reliable conclusion may be drawn.
University of Nairobi
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