Change management practices in the Kenyan Department of Immigration
Change management is the deliberate and coordinated actions taken to transform an organization to overcome environmental challenges in order to achieve its objectives. Hence organisations are undertaking strategic changes in order to align their business strategies to the environment thereby matching the resources and activities of an organisation to that environment. Immigration has been an important factor influencing the historical and contemporary development of Kenya and other nations representing the world's diverse geographic regions, cultures, and socio-political systems. Migrations of people have ranged from seasonal to permanent resettlement and from local to global. The purpose of the study was to determine how the immigration department has managed changes relating to its reform and modernization programme, the perceived impact of these changes and whether the changes adopted are in line with the strategic goals. The study adopted a descriptive survey design where section heads in the department were interviewed. Study findings were presented in narratives. Research findings indicate that change management issues were the responsibility of the management and the executive committee comprised of management and other selected staff members. On the application of change management, the study found that the department applies change management in technology, training and cost management. Just like in any other organisation, resistance to change was found to be prevalent in the department. The interviewees said that they had experienced resistance to change as a result of introduction of change in their sections. The resistance to change was found to emanate mainly from the employees who feel that the changes introduced in the organisation are not usually part of their inputs. The study will be of importance to the government in formulating a policy on the regulatory process in the economy in the areas that necessitate strategic change management, in order to ensure orderly economic growth and development. More specifically, the study will assist immigration department in improving change management in its future programmes. Immigration department's management will also be able to identify the most appropriate and sustainable change management practices needed to successfully manage change and to ensure sustained and efficient service delivery. The study will also provide a platform for further research in the area of change management and in particular the practices that will contribute to successful strategic change management in Kenyan state corporations, parastatals and more specifically the immigration department.