Strategic leadership and performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya
Proper strategic leadership is precursory for effective strategy formulation, implementation and control especially in the current highly volatile business environment. However, locally, there is dearth of empirical findings on how strategic leadership affects performance of organizations. Thus, this study increased this knowledge by answering the question: what is the relationship between strategic leadership and performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya? Cross sectional survey design was adopted for the study on a target population of the 700 manufacturing firms in Kenya which are registered with Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). A sample of 70 firms was selected using stratified sampling technique. Semi-structured questionnaire design was used as the research instrument. Descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation) was used in the analysis. Pearson correlation analysis was also conducted at 95% confidence level (α = .05) to determine the significance of the relationship between strategic leadership and performance of the firms. The study findings revealed that strategic leadership attributes that are profound within the manufacturing firms included exploitation, maintenance and alignment of core competencies with strategic objectives. The leadership also focused, encouraged and put pressure on employees to contribute to organizational goals. The leadership further nurtured culture that fosters positive performance besides developing human and social capital. It concluded that strategic leadership is highly correlated with performance. The study recommended that strategic leadership should align reward schemes with performance and encourage interpersonal relationship among employees. Firms’ boards should also encourage empirically sound leadership within firms.