Strategic responses by Kenya Post Office Savings Bank to changes in the environment
Onyango, Caroline J A
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Over the last ten years, the Kenyan economy has experienced a lot of environmental changes. These changes have had an impact on all industries within the country. Organizations have had to find ways to cope with this changes. The financial sector has not been spared from the impact of this changes either. The objective of the research study therefore was to identify the strategic responses by KPOSB to changes in the external environment. In order to meet this objective a case study was conducted using primary and secondary data. The primary data was obtained from face to face interviews with the respondents who are responsible for developing the strategic responses and overseeing the implementation of the same. Secondary data was collected from various sources such as records and reports. The data was then analysed qualitatively. The study established that the changes in the external environment has posed major challenges to KPOSB. These challenges arose from the changes in the businesses environment in terms of economic decline, liberalization, legislative changes, increase in level of education and technological advancements. According to the research findings, KPOSB has addressed these challenges through restructuring, marketing, information technology ,culture change and improvement in service delivery systems. These have made KPOSB more competitive but have not fully enabled the bank adequately match its environment. The study recommends that the bank should continue being more pro-active to ensure they keep up with the changing external environment. Hasten the repealing of the act that restricts the bank from offering credit to its customers, introduce more innovative products to cater for the unbanked population and increase media presence to achieve awareness of its products and services. The case study focused on KPOSB and may therefore not relate to the strategic responses undertaken by all financial institutions in the country to the challenges in the environment as most of the products and services offered are different and customized to competitively meet with customers preferences. A cross sectional survey covering the whole financial industry can further be undertaken to determine the strategic responses made by financial institutions especially with the increasing growth, number and size of the non-bank financial institutions. These then will allow for industrial generalization to be made.