Challenges faced in strategy implementation
Musyoka, Lucy W
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Increased business competitiveness and the dynamic external environment have placed important emphasis on corporate strategy. In Kenya, firms are operating under increasing competitive environment that puts them under pressure to continually review their strategic plans or formulate new ones to suit the existing trends. Effective strategic management creates a productive alliance between the nature and demands of the environment, the organization's culture and values, and the resources that the organization has at its disposal. The process of Strategy implementation is very critical to the success of either public or private undertaking and can pose a number of challenges. The challenges arise from sources that are internal and external to the organization and will depend on the type of strategy, type of organization, and prevailing circumstances. The education sector is one of the social pillars of the Kenya Vision 2030.In pursuit of its mandate to provide educational materials and scholarship to needy students, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation has embraced strategic management practices since 200I.This management approach has not been without challenges. This study was designed to determine the challenges faced by Jomo Kenyatta Foundation in strategy implementation and to establish the measures taken to overcome these challenges. To achieve these objectives, a Case study design was used where qualitative data collected was analyzed to provide useful information and recommendations for academic purposes and improved performance. The study findings were that challenges faced are usually from sources external and internal to the organization. The key challenge identified was due to changes in the operating environment such as stiff competition compounded by new entrance of important new competitors in to the industry and un-anticipated new substitute or competing products. The macro-environmental changes such as the government policies in the political environment were identified to be unfriendly to the business orientation expected of Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. The purchasing power dictated by the economic environment determined the customers' potential .The social environment presented challenges of increased demand versus supply of the scholarships. The Technological environment presented challenges of increased demand to creativity and innovativeness, training costs, obsolescence and stiff competition. The industry forces especially the buyers' power and rivalry within the industry has led to increased costs in promotions, branding and efforts to enhance JKF presence. Other challenges faced in strategy implementation at JKF were emanating from sources internal to the organization due to behavior resistance to change. Inappropriate systems especially the structure, traditional public sector culture, unaligned organizational processes and resources used in the organization. Some of the challenges were anticipated during the process of formulation of the strategic plan. There were extensive consultations and detailed analyses of the strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities during strategic planning with appreciation of the risks and assumptions. Two success factors were identified which are critical to achieving the strategic objectives. These were the development and sustenance of capabilities and competencies to ensure quality and competitive publications. Efforts to maintain this intangible resource were factored during the planning process. The leadership in Jomo Kenyatta Foundation is in the process of restructuring the organization, and a leaner organization with highly motivated and skilled workforce is emerging. The study findings reported that currently the leadership considers people as an asset for enhanced performance and emphasizes on staff development and building teams for performance. The findings of this study recommend business friendly policy changes to be enacted to create a Jomo Kenyatta Foundation that is a commercial state parastatal as a priority. Proposed alignment of the organization configuration (structure, processes) as articulated in the strategic plan 2007-2012 should be implemented to ensure profitability and survival. Further research is needed in the publiciy owned parastatal to provide empirical evidence on decisions to increase the level of autonomy or undertake privatization. Use of Research designs to bring out comparisons with other privately owned publishing firms is fundamental for justifying policy changes.
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
School of Business, University of Nairobi