Factors influencing strategic choice in non-governmental relief and development organizations in Kenya
Strategic decisions are important to the success of organizations. They are even more critical in the case of relief and development organizations where the success of project may directly relate to loss of life or enhanced quality of life now or in the future. Most past strategic research focus on forprofit organizations and mostly on procedural rationality. This research sought to find out factors, which determine strategic choice in Non governmental relief and development organizations. To enable the study ofthese factors, the researcher randomly selected 40 organizations from a total of 672 organizations registered in the NOO coordination bureau of Kenya. They were sent questionnaires, which explored three dimensions namely characteristics, scope and external factors, which would influence organizations strategic decisions. A consideration of power relation show that the top governance function accounted for 87% of those whose input is considered important in the strategy selection process. Moreover as distinct sub group, management influenced strategic decisions the most. In the NOOs sector 55% of the organization, consider management role as a dominant factor in strategy selection. This factor ."- j showed a high positive c6~elation wi'th strategies of growth r=. 196 and significance of 0.63 at 95% confidence level. When considered against setting performance indicators, the correlation was r=. 293 with significance of 0.52 at 95% confidence level. This situation could be explained by the fact that NGOs are mostly small organizations (annual budget of most NOOs is under Ksh.14 Millions and they employ mostly less than 5f) employees). Power rotates around the founder of the NOO with ~L • possibilities of other members participating because of their access to information of strategic value. IX Strategic selection is influenced by managerial characteristics. Young managers who are university graduates, have a long-term contract with a high budget at their disposal undertake more risky long term and complex programmes. Specifically strategy types found more sensitive to managerial characteristic ofNGOs were, starting new programmes, strategies of growth, acquiring more capacity and gaining competitive advantage. External factors examination revealed that 42% ofNGOs consider donors to have a dominant role in strategic choice while 87% consider the community NGOs serve as a third party whose participation is required in strategy choice. The strategic types that relate more to most external factors are strategies of growth and starting new programmes. NGOs are very sensitive to the impact of their activities on the society. Apparent less influence by the government, local authorities and suppliers may be attributed to the flexibility of the organizations arising from the source of their funding and size. Their level of activity, do not warrant union and government action on each individual NGO resulting in strategic decision being less impacted on by direct action of special interest groups .