Change management at the Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited
Organizations of today face an uncertain future due to various challenges posed by their dynamic and unpredictable environments. Economic and social factors such as globalization, political/legal, social/cultural, competition, liberalization, and advanced technology are among the various forces that drive change in organizations. In order to cope with these challenges, all organizations must be prepared to change. KTDA was privatized as part of the government comprehensive Public Enterprise Reform and Privatization Programme. Privatization was seen as able to introduce into the sector efficiency and competition and contribute to the economy while privatization and divestiture involved the transfer of a function, activity, organization or investment holding from the public to private sector. KTDA changed from a parastatal organization to a fully commercialized entity totally responsible for its own existence. The study had three objectives which were: to establish what change management practices were adopted at KTDA, what challenges were faced during the change management process and what measures were adopted in dealing with the challenges of change management. Primary qualitative data was collected from senior managers of KTDA using an interview guide. The six senior managers, who included the CEO, were interviewed and their responses have been analyzed and recorded in Chapter Four. Findings show that a planned strategic approach to change management was adopted. Strategic change management is a structured approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It ensures that predetermined objectives of introducing the process change are achieved, and it also helps prevent and resolve conflicts, service disruption, culture clashes and other problems associated with process change. The change process worked well for KTDA. It was embarked on as a matter of urgency considering the circumstances the organization found itself in. It was led by the CEO with his team of senior managers who all led by example. There was effective sensitization and education on what was happening and what needed to be achieved. The change was introduced in the whole organization and carried out systematically step by step until the desired results were achieved. Resources were availed, both financial and human, and KTDA recorded impressive growth in the number and size of factories, number of subsidiary companies and returns to the farmer. Everybody was involved in the change process and this contributed to its success. Although a lot has been achieved, there are a number of aspects that are not yet complete. These are indicated clearly in the summary of the findings in Chapter Five and some are elaborated further under recommendations for policy and practice. The growth and success of KTDA must have exceeded the expectations of the government when it was privatized over 10 years ago. However, since change is a continuous process, the KTDA management needs to address the issues revealed by this study in order to boost the achievements made and remain a shining example of what privatization can achieve.