Strategic responses by Kenya meteorological department to the needs of their customers
This research project was a case study of the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD). Its objectives were to identify and document the needs of KMD customers; to establish KMD responses to the needs of their customers; and to determine whether KMD capability matches the response to their customer needs. In order to meet these objectives pertinent primary data was collected through in-depth interviews of 25 senior officers of KMD. The collected data was then analyzed using the content analysis technique. The study identified and documented specific weather and climate needs of the KMD customers covering most of the socio-economic sectors including agriculture, energy, water resources, general public, civil defence, health, airlines and air traffic services, marine, road transport, insurance, tourism, building and construction, Government ministries and departments, media, research and learning institutions, environment, as well as other national, regional and global meteorological services among others. The study established that KMD had responded to their customer needs through strategic response variables such as restructuring; technology development; training, research and development; culture change and enhanced service delivery. However, the KMD responses to their customer needs were inadequate. It was also found out that KMD did not possess the necessary capacity to address the needs of their customers. Both strategy and capability gaps therefore existed at KMD and as such the logic behind Ansoff’s strategic success formula was not fulfilled. KMD could acquire the lacking capabilities through strategic alliances and joint ventures. It was found out that although KMD had a strategic plan developed in 2005 it had not been effectively communicated throughout the organisation. The senior KMD officers were empowered to make strategic decisions but to a very small extent. The internal challenges faced at KMD included lack of legal framework, resistance to change, financial constraints, shortage of technical and professional staff due to Government’s freeze on employment since 1997, Government bureaucracy that limits timely implementation of some strategies, overlapping roles between departments, inadequate training in management and customer care as well as inadequate office space.