Strategic responses adopted by Kenya Women Finance Trust to enviromental changes
ABSTRACT Environment has been characterized as complex, dynamic, multi-facet and having far reaching impact on organizations that operate within it. As a result of these characteristics, the environment is composed of various factors, events, conditions and influences which interact with each other to create an entirely new set of influences leading to constant environmental change. A fundamental change is occurring in the world economy whereby the world economies are witnessing the forces of globalization and liberalization of trade. This study is a case study. It seeks to achieve the objectives of the study, which were to establish the strategic responses adapted by Kenya Women Finance Trust to the environmental changes and to establish the challenges KWFT faces in responding to the environmental changes. The study used both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected through an interview guide. The data collection instrument was the interview guide. Secondary data was in form of the company’s strategic plan and annual financial reports. The study found from the majority respondents that there had been major changes within the operating environment for the last ten years, it was further found from the study that the changes which had major impact in their operation were; environmental changes, technological changes, political/legal changes, demographic changes, economic changes, customers’ tastes and preferences changes and competition from rival companies. It was further revealed by the study that the finance, operations, human resource, customer care and the IT operations were the areas of operations and management which environmental change had affected most. From the study customers affected and influenced the operations of the company through requiring competitive service that could meet their needs. The study also found that due to environmental change the company operated at high cost due to the rising inflation in the global world and there was therefore the need of the company to minimize costs. It was observed that changes in political and/legal landscape affects the operation of the company and this forces the business to operate at higher cost due to inflation and new laws that guides the business. It is concluded that major transformation within the organisation, adopting modern technology, product differentiation, advertisement, performance culture, strategic locations, staff training and development and the introduction of staff incentives for innovations are strategies adopted by the company in response to competition. From the findings and the conclusions, the company has also been facing challenges such as competition, high operational costs, high cost of funds, scarce resources, threat to institutional identity, staff poaching by competitors and resistance to change by staffs while responding to environmental changes. The organization has been militating against these challenges. The study recommended that there should be continuous adoption of various strategies in order to counter various changes in the external environment, its further recommend that the company should train its staff, establish a strategy department and computerize its departments to modernize its operations and cut costs.