Response strategies adopted by Serena group of Hotels to deal with environmental challenges In East Africa
Liberalization and globalization of world economies have caused turbulence in the business environment, more so to those in the hospitality industry. In this regard, protected organizations have found themselves in an unfamiliar trading environment. Their past operational efficiency and markets are no longer protected. They are now under pressure to change and align their structures and management strategies to environmental challenges. This project was a case study of Serena Group of Hotels to determine response strategies that have been adopted by the Group to deal with the environmental challenges in East Africa.A case study is an in-depth investigation of an individual, institution or phenomenon, and has a value of enabling the authors to explore the content under study and retain holistic characteristics of real life events in fields such as organizational and managerial processes. The study also helped establish that it is indeed true that Serena Group of Hotels operates in a very dynamic environment. The objective was to document the responses by the Serena Group of Hotels to curb the challenges caused by the environmental challenges. Being a case study therefore, the research findings cannot be used to make generalization for the hospitality industry as a whole. The study made use of primary and secondary data. The primary data was obtained through sending the interview guideto the departmental heads, in charge of finance and accounts, engineering, operations, information technology, human resources, sales and marketing, and administration, in which case all the targeted respondents were available for the interview. This method helped in extracting some in depth information through direct questions in which a questionnaire by itself could not be very helpful. The interview guide was constructed around the research propositions that were expected to be answered in the research. The results were developed in line with the objective of the study (the questionnaires had open ended questions so as not to limit the responses by the interviewees). Data analysis was done through content include other response strategies adopted by Serena Group of Hotels, such as, business process reengineering, among others. The study found out that Serena Group of Hotels has responded to challenges in the business environment through implementation of response strategies that include cost leadership, differentiation and focus, outsourcing, restructuring, new technological development, distribution and product innovation. From the study results, it is recommended that the management of Serena Group of Hotels needs to be more proactive rather than reactive in its response strategies, that is, management should be very alert on the changes in the business environment and they should be keen to respond in good time in order to outsmart competition.