Implementing strategic change at Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Ltd
Mburu, Gatabaki N
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Strategy implementation or execution task is the most complicated and time consuming part of strategic management. While strategy formulation is primarily an intellectual and creative act involving analysis and synthesis, implementation is a hands-on operation and action oriented human behavioral activity that calls for executive leadership and key managerial skills. This study was modeled on a case study design whereby qualitative data was collected focusing on the strategy implementation within the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC). Information was collected on implementation of strategic change, the challenges experienced and how they have been managed, factors deemed conducive to the change process and strategies of sustaining the change achieved. Primary data was collected using an interview guide. The interview guide was divided into four sections: Section A contained questions on the company profile, Section B contained questions on strategic planning and implementation, Section C contained questions on major considerations in implementing of strategic change while Section D contained questions on tools of managing strategic change. Data was collected through e-mail, in-depth personal and telephone interviews and it was then analyzed. Some of the key findings from this study have been summarized in the next paragraph. The study established that NCWSC conducts three to five year strategic planning to enable , the company to provide sustainable and affordable water services. The senior management team is involved in the process of formulation, implementation and monitoring of strategic change. All the interviewees felt that the change process has generally been successful. They attributed this to better top management, improved salaries, availability of working tools and materials and increased use of Information and Communication Technology (lCT). There has been an overhaul of the organizational structure, leadership, culture, system process, technology and human resource management. Some challenges have also been experienced which were attributed to resistance to change by staff, oversight in managing the transition, limited change time, inadequate resources and early withdrawal of change tools. To overcome some of these challenges, the company management used extensive change management training and massive investment in ICT, office refurbishment, equipment and working tools. The report concludes that Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company undertakes to use strategic change management to survive in the long term. The study recommends that the management should increase the duration over which strategic change is effected and they should sustain the change instruments to ensure that the members of staff are fully adjusted and committed to the change. The employees should be encouraged to be innovative and not to be afraid of making mistakes during implementation of strategic change. There may be need at some point to retrench the few staff who cannot adjust to change.
University of Nairobi, Kenya