Strategy implementation challenges in the main stream churches in Kenya
Kung’u, Dorcas W
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Much of the shortcomings in strategy are attributable to failures in the implementation process rather than in the formulation of strategy itself (Beer et al., 1990; Woolridge and Floyd, 1990). Wessel (1993) stated clearly that most of the individual barriers to strategy implementation that have been encountered fit into one of the following interrelated categories: too many and conflicting priorities, the top team does not function well; a top down management style; inter-functional conflicts; poor vertical communication, and inadequate management development. An increasing number of churches are applying the principles of strategic planning (Clinton et al., 1995). The older and conservative denominations are referred to as the mainstream churches. Their systems ensure that there is accountability and transparency as opposed to those that are run by an individual assuming the roles of both administrator and pastor and include the Roman Catholics, Anglican Church, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Africa Inland Church, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, and Baptist Churches. This research examines to what extent strategic plans are being implemented in the mainstream churches and the challenges of implementing these plans. A census survey was conducted to establish the strategic implementation challenges and mechanisms to cope with these challenges among the mainstream churches in Kenya. The target respondents were senior pastor(s), the sectional pastors and administrative heads. The study made use of primary data collected using a questionnaire (Appendix III). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data collected. The first objective of this study was to determine the challenges that face mainstream churches in Kenya results indicating that the greatest challenge rested with organizational culture not supporting strategy implementation, communication of problems to top management, which required their attention as well as competing activities distracting attention from the intended strategy. The second objective was to establish what mainstream churches in Kenya do to cope with strategy implementation challenges and the results showed that use of teamwork was a mechanism highly favored and by most of the churches as well as involvement of stakeholders a popular mechanism with most of the churches. In conclusion, the level of future success of the churches in Kenya and especially the main stream churches will depend to a greater extent, the level at which they understand the importance of the strategy process for the ultimate direction of the church. There is the need for the implementers of strategies to identify specific benchmarks that the church can use to monitor progress/success in implementing the strategy. From the study it is evident that the way in which strategies implementation challenges were evident in organizational culture and poor communication back to top management were pertinent challenges with popular mechanisms used to cope with the challenges being teamwork and bringing all stakeholders on board in implementation of the strategy.