Environmental context, implementation of strategic plans and performance of State Corporations in Kenya
The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the moderating effect of environmental context on the relationship between level of implementation of strategic plans and performance of state corporations in Kenya In the study, political goodwill and support, and policy framework were adopted as the indicators of the environmental context; proportion of strategies in the strategic plan implemented as the independent variable; and return on sales, return on assets and customer satisfaction as the dependent variable measures of financial performance, efficiency and effectiveness, respectively. Eighty-three (83) state corporations drawn from different sectors of the economy and charged with various functions, participated in the study. A combination of cross-sectional survey design and relational study design was employed in the study. Required data was mainly quantitative; therefore, a full questionnaire was used as the data collection tool. The study revealed that for commercial state corporations, political goodwill and support has a significant effect on the relationship between the extent of implementation of strategic plans and their financial performance on the one hand, and their effectiveness on the other hand. Policy framework, however, does not moderate the relationship between the extent of implementation of strategic plans and the financial performance of commercial state corporations, but may have a significant effect on the relationship between their extent of implementation of strategic plans and efficiency. Both dimensions of environmental context (political goodwill and support, and policy framework) do not moderate the relationship between the extent of implementation of strategic plans and effectiveness of either commercial or non-commercial state corporations. The study, therefore, provides empirical evidence to support the theory that effective strategic planning and implementation, within a positive environment of political goodwill and support, leads to higher performance. It proposes to policymakers to take into account the practicalities of implementing government policies, and to managers of state corporations to nurture political support and goodwill and to establish robust institutional structures that ensure effective service delivery to the public. Limitations of the study were that it was cross-sectional in nature and it generalized across industries, hence did not take into consideration the competitive pressures that may be unique to certain industries. The study recommends that future research should attempt to gather longitudinal data in order to make stronger causal inferences, and to isolate of the effects of public sector policies and governance structures on the performance of commercial state corporations, vis a vis the performance of private firms.