Strategic issue management at Kenya Maritime Authority
Wambutura, Justus G
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A strategic issue is a forthcoming development either inside or outside of the organization, which is likely to have an important impact on the ability of the enterprise to meet its objectives. An issue may be welcome; an opportunity to be grasped from the environment or an internal strength which can be exploited to advantage or it can be unwelcome a weakness which imperils combining success, even survival of the enterprise. This study therefore sought to establish the strategic issue management practices in Kenya Maritime Authority. It also intended to identify the factors that influence strategic issue management in Kenya Maritime Authority. The study was conducted using a case study method. The researcher held in-depth interviews with 5 heads of department and the Chief Executive Officer. Since this was a qualitative study, data was analyzed using content analysis. The study established that the Kenya Marine Authority had a vision and a mission. The Authority was formed under the Kenya Marine Authority Act No. 5/2006 and the Merchant Shipping Act of 1967 (Cap 389). According to the finding there are several factors which can influence strategic issue management practices in an organisation. One of these factors is the presence and process of developing strategic issue management practices. The study found out that sources of identifying strategic issues include Government policies, circulars, and new laws. According to the findings the Kenya Maritime Authority management analyses its strategic plan based on midterm and long term planning and recommended that a visit with each issue, whether it’s “important” or “urgent.” Often, issues seem very important when they're only urgent, for example, changing a flat tire is an urgent issue but you'd never put "changing a tire" in your strategic plan. Attend only to the important issues and not the urgent issues. The study stipulated that the management of Kenya Maritime Authority should also find means of dealing with the following strategic issues and challenges experienced over the last five years that include: Dealing with pirates arrested in international waters, Expanding operations to the lake region, Sourcing for parcel of law to put up KMA HQs., Establishment of ERP, Preparation of national oil pollution contingency response plan and Instability in Somalia. The main limitation of the study was the challenge faced was the administration of the interviews; most of the top management executives were pressed for time to provide an interview for the researcher. The management staffs travel a lot both locally and internationally. The study gave recommendations for further research on the issue of strategic issue management on related industry players like the Kenya Ports Authority. The study also recommended further research to be undertaken to determine the success levels of companies that are using strategic issue management.