Stakeholder involvement in strategy formulation in Kenyan state corporations
Stakeholders within organization influence strategy and consequently influence the organization's purposes that result in formal expectations in terms of achievement. The extents to which organization stakeholders are able to influence organization's purposes vary and their different power and interests underscore these variations. In State Corporations, the values and expectations of different stakeholder groups play an important role in strategy development. It is against this background that this study was designed to determine the extent to which various stakeholders are involved in strategy formulation in Kenyan state corporations and establish the factors influencing the extent of involvement of various stakeholders. The study used primary data which were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire with both open and closed ended questions. The questionnaire was administered through mail (drop and pick and e-mail).The study targeted senior and middle level managers from a sample of 50 state corporations drawn randomly. From the research findings, it was revealed that most state corporations practice strategic planning and that they carry out stakeholder analysis to determine the various stakeholders' interests which may affect strategy formulation process. The study established that most state corporations involve their stakeholders in strategy formulation and that a numbers of factors influence the extent to which stakeholders are involved. The results indicate that stakeholders are given opportunity to contribute their own ideas during strategy; they are allowed to assess and review the ideas during strategy formulation; there is joint decision making with stakeholders during all stages of the project; and stakeholders are given a chance to assess the whole strategy formulation process. However, it was observed that a considerable proportion of state corporations do not involve their stakeholders in strategy formulation to considerable extents. Further, it was evident from the study that a wide range of factors come into play to influence the extent of stakeholder involvement in strategy formulation. The research findings showed that all factors that were presented to respondents influenced the extent of stakeholder involvement in strategy formulation. The factors range from the important insights offered into strategic planning to amount of resources in a stakeholder group's possession; importance of the resources and availability and expert knowledge of a stakeholder group. It was however evident that even though all the factors presented to respondents influenced the extent of stakeholder involvement to a great extent, not all organizations indicated this fact. This implies that not all factors have the same influence on the extent of stakeholder involvement in all organizations. It was generally concluded that differences in the state corporations' activities and stakeholder groups' characteristics have much bearing on the factors that influence the extent of their involvement. During the study, several limitations were experienced. First, it was not possible to get 100% response rate due to the busy schedule of some of the respondents who never found time to fill and mail back the questionnaire. Secondly, it was not easy to establish whether or not the targeted respondents are the ones who participated in offering data that was analyzed. This is because the questionnaires were mailed to respective and it was not possible to be present to ensure that the right respondents participated in the study. Lastly, the study was limited to state corporations and may not apply to entire Public service sector in Kenya. This is because state corporations offer unique services in which case stakeholder groups will be varied and the factors influencing their involvement in strategy formulation different depending on the stakeholder group. The researcher suggest that since this study adopted a descriptive survey research design yet it was not possible for all targeted state corporations to participate in the research, a case study would help bring out some of the unique findings about specific state corporations because such studies are in-depth and hence very detailed. This will also increase chances of getting qualitative data which was not captured during this study.