An investigation of strategic planning practices of local pharmaceutical manufacturing firms in Kenya and factors influencing the practices
Sagwa, Evans L
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The aim of this study was two prong; (i) to determine the strategic planning practices of the local pharmaceutical manufactures in Kenya, and (ii) to identify the key factors influencing the strategic planning practices of the firms in the industry. This industry was selected because of its highly indigenous nature, its vulnerability to the changes in the local, regional and global environment, and the private nature of the businesses in the industry. Other than the study carried out by Aosa in 1992 on aspects of strategy formulation within 'large, private manufacturing companies in Kenya, there has been no other study that has been done so far, that is dedicated to strategic planning in manufacturing firms in Kenya, yet a lot of events have transpired in the external business environment that have a major influence on the way managers practice strategic planning in Kenya. Although the researcher did not anticipate marked. differences in the way strategic planning is undertaken by these firms as compared with those quoted in strategic management theory, it is worthwhile to investigate if there are any peculiarities that can . .. be discovered, given the unique circumstances of the firms, especially given that they operate in an upcoming and developing economy. To achieve these objectives, primary data was collected by use of a questionnaire targeted- at senior managers in the companies, -because of their involvement in strategy formulation. A census study was done. The questionnaires were personally administered through a drop and collect later approach. The data collected was IX analyzed using the SPSS version 10 statistical computer package and the results were presented by use of simple descriptive statistics like frequencies, modes, means and percentages. Upon the interpretation of the findings, it was found that the strategic planning practices of the local pharmaceutical manufacturers in Kenya were similar to those proposed in strategic management theory, and also to those reported in literature from studies conducted in other parts of the world, or similar studies done on other industries. Secondly, a number of factors were found to have an influence on the strategic planning practices of the firms studied. Such factors include; company age, company size, company ownership, the caliber of senior management, the scope of the company's business and the environmental stability. Again, these findings agree with those quoted in strategic management theory and in literature. In conclusion, there is a great deal of congruence between strategic planning as promulgated by strategic management theories and strategic planning practices as performed by the practitioners of strategy in real life.