Management of strategic change at Chemelil sugar company limited, Kenya
Strategic change is concerned with changing the direction of the organization and the way the firm does its business. Strategic change is a must and leaders who anticipate change and react rapidly and responsibly will succeed. CSC is a government owned sugarcane milling company whose dismal performance triggered a strategic change process in efforts to bring it back to efficient operations. The study sought to establish the strategic change management practices adopted by CSC and determine the challenges the firm encountered during the implementation process of the strategic change. This being a case study was effected by thorough open-ended questionnaire used for in-depth individual interviews with CSC top management team designed to facilitate adequate collection of data. The primary and secondary data collected was subject to content analysis with the conceptual approach to capture the dominating themes, categories to collated and aid in thematic analysis. The study found out that an emergent approach of strategic change was adopted. The change effort was planned in a clear line insight for the future desired state. At the end of the study, it was possible to identify the set of factors that answered the research question and objectives of the study. Unfocused leadership, poor industry regulation, obsolete technology coupled with lack of proper maintenance of the factory and a fiercely competitive business environment were among factors identified to have influenced strategic change at CSC. To survive, the Company instituted measures like change in leadership, full factory rehabilitation, more stringent financial controls and stakeholders buy-in that reversed the loss making trend. To succeed, CSC had to change its corporate culture, leadership, value, mode of communication, support systems and structure. Through constant training of people involvement and participation, performance contracting, change in culture, constant communication and teamwork, success became a reality by the achievement of the desired factory operational targets only seen several years back. From the study, it became clear that CSC needs to embrace on further strategic changes in preparation for the expected more competition due to the expiry of the COMESA safeguards. Political patronage should give way for serious business approach in running the organization. The study has captured on the success of strategic change at CSC. Similar study can be carried out in other organizations within the sugar sector especially the government owned millers. For CSC, a study needs to be carried out to determine the relationship between corporate governance to the performance of the organization.