Strategic change management at the Kenya Institute of Administration
The only thing truly predictable about the global economy is that we are in unchartered territory, and it seems inevitable that there will be unpredictable and dramatic developments in organizations. It is now, more than ever, for both public and private sector organizations to remain flexible, build team work and be prepared to react rapidly and decisively. Organizations that are able to negotiate the rapids are able to position themselves well with customers, suppliers and the competition. Strategic change management has, thus, increasingly become a necessity, for public and private sector organizations, rather than an alternative or a choice. The ability to shift direction and improve functioning is assumed as a key competence in public and private sector organizations. However, major studies of strategic change management, mainly focus on the private sector, underplaying the changes taking place in the public sector and the need to develop change management approaches in this sector. Public and private sector organizations are today competing on the same platform, targeting the same consumers and are faced by the same environmental factors, thus their differences are minimal. The environment in which Kenya's public sector organizations exist in has increased in complexity and there is acceleration in the rate of change, which has led to development of strategic change management capabilities. There is no one universal approach to strategic change management in any organization. Thus, in relation to their unique strategic positioning and structure strategic change management is implemented differently in different organizations. This study sought to determine the unique strategic change management approaches adopted by Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA), Kenya's premier semi- autonomous public management development institute (MDI). The institute's implementation of strategic change management was in response to the public sector. This study strived to address four (4) objectives being to establish how KIA has implemented change management, determine drivers of strategic change at KIA, establish challenges faced by KIA in strategic change management and determine strategies KIA has adopted in overcoming change resistance. The findings of this qualitative case study were determined by undertaking in depth interviews with 10 of KIA's management staff. The respondents were selected due to their deep knowledge and direct experience in strategic change management at KIA. In addition, the institute's records provided useful information in the compilation of this research report, such as KIA's strategic plan for the period 2008 to 2012. The study identified that, although not distinct, KIA has adopted Kotter's transformation process model in strategic change management. From the interviews conducted, it was evident that the reform initiatives implemented at KIA have had a great impact on its overall performance, evidenced, for instance by its development of relevant training programmes, gaining a higher training status; establishing a quality assurance unit, increasing the number of participants and growing its revenue base. This study's findings and conclusions may be used by other public sector organizations and MDIs, undergoing similar reforms. Academicians wishing to carry out further research, may use the findings to further develop the literature held on strategic change management, especially as relates to public sector organizations and MDIs.
University of Nairobi, Kenya