Strategy implementation at the kenya prisons service
Okombo, Kennedy O
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Strategy implementation is a continuation of the planning process and is often preceded by strategy formulation. However, successful strategy formulation does not always guarantee successful implementation. Whereas strategy formulation is entrepreneurial, implementation is basically administrative. Effective strategy implementation, therefore, requires that the strategy is supported by an appropriate organization structure, systems, culture, resources, and a leadership that plays a leading role in the implementation process. This study set out to establish the practices of strategy implementation at Kenya Prisons Service and also to investigate the challenges of strategy implementation, and to determine measures put in place to overcome these challenges at Kenya Prisons Service. The study was conducted through a case study of the Kenya Prisons Service. Seven out of the eight intended top management, who are the directors of various departments, were accessed and interviewed to get data for completion of this research; and whose length of service was more than 15 years. They were interviewed using a well prepared interview guide. Both secondary and primary data were collected which formed the basis for content analysis. The study established that the Kenya Prisons service is currently implementing its 2013-2017 strategic plan guided by its vision and mission statements. The implementation is practiced through the development of planning and control systems by setting performance targets, direct supervision of the development projects, and use of annual action plans derived from the strategic plan. They have also put in place policies to support strategy implementation such as the Open Door Policy and the HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy 2014. Further results indicated that KPS organization structure was recently restructured to accommodate the requirements of the strategic plan; and that it uses top-down approach of strategy implementation. The interviewees indicated that the major challenges of strategy implementation encountered by KPS were financial constraints; intended strategies taking much time than planned; too much bureaucracy leading to the delay in the disbursement of the funds; lack of inclusiveness in decision making; weak bottom up communication system; top-down structure; bureaucratic culture; lack of commitment from the management; underdeveloped Information Technology Network; insufficient international exposure and benchmarking; inadequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; inadequate number of professional personnel; delayed review of legislative framework; inadequate physical infrastructure; Weak collaboration and networking in the criminal justice administration; Poor donor support linkage, and Lack of training curricula for prison officers. The study also sought to establish the measures taken to address the challenges which include; explore supplementary sources of funds, involvement of Court Users Committee to curb the problem of overcrowding, having a well-developed communication plan, and having SMART strategies. In conclusion, this study recommends the need to create a communication plan for the strategy and systems for monitoring and feedback, training of staff in the area of strategy implementation was highly recommended. However, a number of limitations were identified hence the need for further research.