The role of leadership in managing change within the courier industry in Kenya
Organizations have been so dynamic in the last decades. As a result, workers on feeling the impact have been forced to adapt to new ways of doing things. To them, change is no longer an irregular outing, an inconvenient upheaval to be undertaken once every ten years. It is something organizations have to learn to live with, to structure and to manage. Firms involved in courier services have not been left out in the rush to adjust to the changing trend. Due to the dynamisms in the courier industry, each of the operators has had to undergo major changes due to both external and internal factors. Amidst the jolt and rush to change or perish, leadership, and specifically strategic leadership, is widely described as one of the key drivers of effective strategy implementation. However, lack of leadership, and specifically strategic leadership by the top management of organizations, has been identified as one of the major barriers to effect strategy implementation. The ineffective management of change can have serious and negative impact on senior managers particularly if consultation and communications strategies are either non-existent or flawed. Though there are several studies undertaken on managing change in organizations, there is little done on the role of leadership within senior management in managing change. Therefore this study sought to determine the leadership roles within senior management in managing change with specific focus on courier Industry in Kenya. The study also sought to identify the leadership challenges encountered by senior management in the change process. A census survey research of the 7 senior managers in the courier industry in Kenya was undertaken in line with the research objectives. Quantitative primary data was obtained by use of questionnaire on the leadership roles in management of change and the challenges they face in discharging their duties. Data obtained was analysed using descriptive statistics in the form of frequency, percentages, mean and standard deviation. The findings showed that the leadership of any firm plays an important role in implementing the change process. They are charged with the task of providing an enabling environment in which exchange of ideas and opinions are encouraged to minimize misunderstandings that could otherwise result thus hindering smooth implementation of the anticipated change. In discharging their duties, they were expected to wade through myriad of challenges either related to the institutional management short comings or those due to other employees which if not well sorted out could jeopardize the process. It is therefore recommended that they adequately prepare themselves and other workers before rolling out the anticipated changes and as well maintain an open channel of communication with all stakeholders throughout the process.