Leadership And Strategy Implementation At The East African Portland Cement Company
Implementing corporate strategy requires a team effort headed by the organization's leadership team. Effective leadership involves a lot of management, managing the people processes in the organisation so that people can align themselves to the strategy. Effective leadership is required for developing appropriate organizational climate in the organization. The research objective of the study was to determine influence of leadership on strategy implementation at the East African Portland Cement Company. The research design used was a case study since the unit of analysis was one organization (EAPCC). The study collected primary data through use of an interview guide. The data was collected from approximately 10 management staff of EAPCC located in Athi River, who included the senior management and the departmental heads. The interview guide was deemed fit for the study since it facilitated in-depth research which yields richest data, details, and new insights. The data collected for this study was qualitative data and was analyzed through content analysis. The qualitatively analyzed data was presented in prose. The study found out that the emergence of new players had increased competition threatening the market position and profitability of EAPCC, which prompted the company to develop strategies to increase its market share, performance, and the subsequent competitiveness of the company. The strategies developed by the company include: restructuring, culture change, diversification, workers’ productivity, cost cutting strategies, use of technology, marketing strategies among others. The study found out that the strategies developed by EAPCC were specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Majority of the respondents indicated that the strategies were specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound since they covered a period of 5 years and were measured on an annual basis. The top management was involved in initial phases but failed to follow through and ensure that the strategies were owned up, adopted, and implemented fully. There was also inadequate cascading of the strategies and lack of proper follow up on their implementation. There was lack of clear road map on how to adopt and implement the strategies and some strategies were not very practical hence difficult to implement. The study concludes that top management of EAPCC was not fully committed to implementation of strategies. The implementation was not followed to the letter. The study concludes that the communication of the strategies being implemented by the leadership of EAPCC was not adequate. Though there was communication through training to cascade the strategies through departments; only the top level employees were well informed but shop floor staff did not know the organizations strategies. The study concludes that there are challenges that EAPCC experienced in the implementation of its strategies. These challenges include lack of adequate resources/financial constraints, inadequate cascading of the strategies, lack of proper follow up on their implementation, political/government interference, community interference, lack of team work, lack of commitment and resistance to change. The study recommends that the leadership of EAPCC should allocate and provide more resources to support strategy implementation. There is also need for the leadership of the company to ensure adequate communication on the company’s strategies.
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