A survey of strategic responses of firms to environmental changes in Kenya: a case study of Dominion Farm (K) Limited
The objective of the study was to determine the factors that influence the Dominion farm Kenya limited to environmental changes, and to determine the strategic responses to the changes in the environment. As a way of meeting the objectives, the author used a descriptive research design comprising a case study of Dominion farm Kenya limited. The population of the study comprised of senior management staff of Dominion farm Kenya limited. The study concentrated on the senior management since strategic management is a concern of the top brass management. Primary data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. The' questionnaires were dropped and picked up later. Once the pertinent data were collected the researcher carried out analysis of the same using content analysis. Where applicable presentations were done in graph and table form. The study established that there are environmental factors that influence the Dominion farm limited's responses to environmental changes, these factors includes but are not limited to political factors reported by 100% of the respondents, where politicians incite the locals to protest against the firm operating in the region and demanding favor from the management, economic factors that impacts on the investment in the firm, reported by 75% of respondents, sociological factors where the attitude of the community and their level of education denies the firm the much needed skilled manpower to work in the firm that has advanced machinery and technology reported by 100% of respondents. Ecological factors impacting on the firm like rains in the farm that was initially a swamp makes the field difficult to operate with machines, the region is also infested with venomous snakes that are reported to have attacked workers and locals was reported by 50% of respondents. Other factors include legal factors like the enactment of the EAC legislation and the establishment of COMESA that has seen competition in the market widening to include other East African Countries. The study shows that DFL has responded by 25% of respondent to the changes in the environment in a number of ways. The firm has liaised with government agencies like NEMA, KARl and KAPP to arbitrate in cases where the firm is accused of malpractice as reported by 100% of respondents. All the respondents reported that the firm has introduced training for the local community on better agricultural practice, and trying to improve their livelihood in various ways so as to create a rapport with the community. The human resource department has resorted to training of the manpower so as they can handle and operate the machinery and technology that the firm employs. The administration department has been mandated to make the firm in Kenya self reliant so as to reduce dependency on the investment of the proprietor's investments in the western economy to minimize the economic factors that affect the firm. The study recommends that DFL should improve its publicity within and outside the country to make its products known so as to capture a bigger market and improve on its return on investment. The study further recommends that the Dominion farm limited should seek to address clearly the social concern of the community where it is located to solve the grievances of the community so as to have a peaceful coexistence. The study recommends that DFL should improve in its training of the local community so as to have them engaged in activities that will sustain their livelihood and replace their dependency on the wetland for economic gain. Lastly the study recommends that the DFL should work to ways of opening up the firm to partnership with govemment agencies like LBDC and incorporate them in their activities and investment rather than working out as purely privately owned firm.