Strategy implementation by major petroleum companies in Kenya
Odhiambo, Basil O
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Strategy implementation is the way in which a company creates the organizational arrangements that allow it to pursue its strategy most effectively. Problems with implementation have resulted in failed strategies. Even first class strategic plans can fail if implementation is not handled with care. Strategy implementation is complex and is accompanied with a lot of challenges that organizations need to manage to ensure smooth execution of their strategic plans. This study focuses on strategy implementation by major petroleum companies in Kenya and further seeks to clearly bring out the challenges faced by these organizations as they set to implement their documented strategic plans. The source of data for this study was Managing Directors and senior managers in all the six major petroleum companies operating in Kenya today. These are the people charged with the corporate responsibility of strategy development and implementation. The main findings of this study are that the major petroleum companies in Kenya have successfully used various methods in implementing their strategic plans. These range from use of performance targets, training of staff, management of culture change, providing adequate financial resources and upgrading of management skills. However, implementation was not smooth as several challenges were also experienced in trying to execute the strategic plans. Some of the challenges experienced include fluctuations in crude oil prices, inadequate communication of the strategy to staff, wrong organizational structure and inadequate information and communications systems. The study is not an end in its own, but should be evaluated in view of the limitations that were experienced. It should not only be useful to all the major petroleum companies in Kenya, but also the smaller players within the industry who intend to grow their market share. Those intending to conduct research in strategy implementation will also find the findings of this study useful.