Strategic issue management by shipping companies in Kenya
Ceri, Emma C
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The shipping industry plays a very crucial role in the Kenyan economy. As the world's business environment changes it is vital that businesses, including the shipping firms, adapt to these changes in order to survive and achieve their corporate objectives. Strategic Issue Management (SIM) has now become an essential component of the strategic management of every successful firm. Some firms make a conscious effort to constantly conduct SIM, whilst others struggle to accommodate it with their limited resources. This study focused on establishing the SIM practices implemented within the shipping companies based in Kenya and the challenges encountered by the firms in implementing the SIM practices. Literature was gathered from various sources with more emphasis on more contemporary literature from renowned authors in strategic management and SIM. The research design used was a census survey design which aimed at identifying the SIM practices that shipping companies in Kenya had implemented and the challenges that they experienced in implementing these practices. A total of 21 shipping companies were targeted whilst 16 responded to the questionnaires. The data collection tool used was a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions guided by the contents of the literature review and aimed at achieving the set objectives. The results obtained from the questionnaire were first summarized in a data preparation process and results were analyzed. Tables were used to show percentages and trends in the data. In order to measure the spread of the data over the sample population, mean scores and standard deviations were calculated. The study revealed that the majority of both local and foreign owned shipping companies in Kenya use SIM as a management tool with most of them indicating that they considered 81M as a project worth investing in for the success of their organizations. Those that did not aggressively execute SIM practices indicated that the biggest challenge was lack of resources. The study recommends consistent application of SIM practices and a regular review of the techniques in order to match the environmental changes both locally and globally. For companies challenged by .lack of resources, the study recommends the empowerment of 81M champions selected m every functional department, as oppose to a department dedicated to 81M.