Strategic management practices at mentor savings and credit co-operative society ltd in Murang’a, Kenya
Strategic management concept involves making decisions which assists to achieve long term targets and goals in the best interest of an organization. Strategic management is very important to an organization because it assists to gain competitive advantage. In other words it acquires or develops an attribute or a combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors as it improves efficiency and effectiveness. The organization is therefore able not only to attract potential customers but also retaining them. It enables an organization to fight of any completion as it is able to adapt quickly to any changes. This ensures that it stays ahead of the completion. The purpose of the study was to establish strategic management practices at mentor savings and credit cooperative society Ltd. Further the study was to establish the benefits arising from adoption of strategic management practices. In addition the study was to find out the challenges encountered in implementation strategic management practices. The research design adopted a case study method in which eighteen (18) respondents including the Chief executive officer, senior management staff, Board of directors and supervisory board were targeted. The choice of the respondents was informed by the fact that they are the ones involved in strategic management practices. The study used both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected using interview guide questions while secondary data was collected from existing documentation reviews on Mentor Sacco. The data was analyzed using content analysis method. The study established that Mentor saving and credit cooperative had strategic plan in use. The study also established that strategic management planning was mainly the work of an external consultant in liaison with top management and the board of Directors and Supervisory board. However it was found that other cadres of staff examples; middle level managers and the rest of the staff do not take part in the planning process. There is therefore need for more inclusiveness by involving other stakeholders. The study further established that the strategies were implemented through annual budgets and annual performance contracts. Monitoring was done annually through performance appraisal and monthly, quarterly, semiannually and annually through management reports to the board. All the respondents were involved in development of top management organizational structure. The results indicated that Mentor Sacco was going through transition from a closed membership to business oriented and focused on exceeding customer expectation. The study established that the challenges facing Mentor included projects lagging behind schedule and under allocation of resources. The study recommends that the process be representative of all the employees, adequate allocation of resources to support implementation of strategies be done and prior planning in training staff and especially in the highly specialized areas be carried out before the beginning of strategic management implementation process. Finally future research is suggested in other savings and cooperatives in order to compare the findings and results of this study with others in an effort at arriving at a decision on where what is learnt in this study can be replicated elsewhere.