Corporate Governance Practices at the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS)
Sala, Lillian Judith
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In the past corporate governance has been emphasized in the private sector. However, corporate governance at all levels is increasingly being seen as the most important factor for the success of organizations in both the private and public sector. Corporate governance issues are receiving an increasing amount of attention. There are lots of unexplored corporate issues facing many organizations in modem day. It is therefore important for organizations to embrace corporate governance. Most of the corporate governance dilemmas are set in corporate business environments where decision makers are forced to make governance decisions as stakeholders of the corporate organization. Many of these issues are complex with apparently conflicting roles on the part of the professional, manager or executive. Many of these executives have little or no formal training regarding corporate governance and yet they preside over organizations with a huge potential for embroiling these governance issues. This study sought to establish corporate governance practices at the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS).Organizations that practice corporate governance best practices, have generally been known to register better performance due to better management of resources. State owned enterprises are set up with state funds that are often misappropriated due to lack of timely reporting, monitoring, and control due to limited enforcement of the basic corporate governance principles. To meet the objective of the study, a case study research design was chosen. The study targeted 8 top managers drawn from KNLS. The study used an interview guide to collect primary data. Content analysis was the principle data analysis technique. The data collected and analyzed suggested that KNLS has the necessary corporate governance practices in place i.e. board of directors, Audit committee, Finance committee and Human Resources Advisory committee. However, it also noted that KNLS does not have a Directors Nomination committee not to mention that there is political influence in the decision-making process. The study further established that there were various challenges that were faced during implementation of corporate governance practices due to limited funds and poor communication. The limitations of the study were time, money and skepticism displayed by some respondents who were not willing to divulge information about some aspects concerning the organization. The interview covered mainly employees in head office while KNLS has branches country wide. It was not easy to reach out to employees in remote areas. Some respondents were not well versed with corporate governance and others were not willing to divulge information. The other problem was the study was limited to the public sector only and did not cover other sectors of the economy. The study was carried out in only one organization and though it may provide typical information of a state corporation, it may not be possible to generalize the data as organizations differ in many ways as far as corporate governance practices are concerned. The main limitations of the study were time, money and skepticism displayed by some respondents who were not willing to divulge information about some aspects concerning the organization. The data collection instrument (the interview guide) was also not put into any pre-testing procedure as a result of which any ambiguities could be ruled out. During the study it became evident that the extent of practice of corporate governance principles may have direct relationship to the level of perfonnance of state corporations. In addition, the extent of government regulatory, control and supervision role in the running of some state corporations may be impacting on their levels of performance, the location and the amount of resources they are able to generate. Other suggested areas for further research include: corporate governance and Finn performance in Kenya, corporate governance disclosure practices in Kenya, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in Kenya with special reference to commercial banks.
University of Nairobi
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