Strategic change management practices in international non-governmental organizations in Kenya
Kamaku, Paul M
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This research was motivated by an interest in identifying the strategic change management practices in the International NGOs in Kenya. It was noted that within the large body of strategic-change literature, the research efforts have focused almost exclusively on the profit making and Governmental organizations. The review of literature further indicates that the paradox of complexity is that it makes things exceedingly difficult: rapid change is endemic and inevitable in post-modern society; a system which self-generates complex dynamics over and over again (Fallon as cited in Val & Fuentes 2003). In this rapidly evolving environment that the INGOs in Kenya operate in, it is likely that those organizations that are not willing or able to change to meet such challenges may risk failure or close down. Thus, the question of how INGOs might change in this 21 st century has become a key issue for those involved in delivering and managing them. INGOs can no longer afford to sit back and react to, still less ignore external influences; they will need to re-think and re-shape if they are to improve, develop and compete within the changing environment. For INGOs, this study has several important implications. First, it suggests that strategic change process is seen through the change in emphasis and content of INGOs' visions, missions, strategies and objectives that now so readily appear on their websites, in their marketing campaigns and in their strategic plans submitted to the funding agencies. Secondly, the results of this study identified that the four main forces that trigger strategic change in INGOs are the economic situation (e.g. recession), donor agencies' requirements, availability or scarcity of resources and leadership. Therefore, INGOs will be able to respond proactively to these forces discussed by Burnes (2004), organizations approach strategic change process as a continuous, open-minded and unpredictable process of aligning & realigning the organization to its changing environment; the results of this study agree with that. Moreover, the change necessitates the training of employees that build their capacity to achieve the set goals. The research also found that in carrying out strategic change process, there is need to communicate to all employees about change done mainly during staff meetings. The basic premise is that in INGOs, changes along dimensions of strategy are reflective of a process of trial and error learning, whereby the CEO do not expect the external environment to organize itself to meet their needs. The two main sources of individual resistance to strategic change in INGOs are the threats to power and influence, and the fear of unknown. The behavioral resistance to change is expected in lNGOs, thus, the change team mandated the responsibility to oversee change execution must deal with the resistance and be proactive in minimizing the resistance through education, communication, participation, support and facilitation. The top management in INGOs being the key change initiator is obliged to prepare the employees and other stakeholders for change by checking for the readiness for change achieved by ensuring there is high dissatisfaction with current situation and low perceived personal risk from change. Strategic change must become part of business as usual for INGOs, that is done routinely and a having a culture that expects change.