Strategic responses to change environment by law firms in Nairobi, Kenya
M'limbiine, Joseph G
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The environment in which organizations operate is constantly changing with different factors influencing the organizations. Since the tum of the millennium, the general business environment has become more volatile, unpredictable and very competitive. To bridge the gap between measuring environmental changes at an industry level and changes in strategy at the firm level, it has been suggested that researchers either operationalize environmental antecedents in terms of industry analysts' opinions or utilize the judgments of researchers on the basis of their industry knowledge (Rajagopalan and Spreitzer, 1996). The objectives of the study were to identify the external environmental changes facing law firms to determine how the law firms in Nairobi are responding to the changes and to identify the impediments that face law firms in Nairobi in responding to the environmental changes. The study would promote strategic thinking among the managers of different law firms when addressing environmental issues affecting their firms. The research design employed in this study was the descriptive survey design method. The study population for this research focused on law firms based in Nairobi. The study collected both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected using a self administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found that there were environmental challenges hindering the firms from achieving business objectives and goals. Both short term and long term strategic responses were employed towards different forms of changing environment. Law firms faced human resource; changing lifestyles and increased affluence which led to higher service expectations, information technology system impediments in responding to environmental changes. Law firms faced excessive work demand, restructuring, time pressure, role conflict, problematic customer relationships and ergonomic insufficiencies in responding to environmental changes. The study concludes that law firms faced various challenges which hindered the firms from achieving business objectives and goals. The study recommends law firms to come up with strategic responses which will concentrate on vision and mission of the firm. The study. further recommends the firms to adopt both short term and long term strategic responses. The study recommends law firms to develop strategies which will enable them in dealing with human resource, changing lifestyles and increased affluence due to higher service expectations, information technology and system impediments in responding to environmental changes. The study further recommends that law firms come up with strategies to enable them respond to challenges they face in responding to environmental changes.