Strategic management practices adopted by the directorate of veterinary services, ministry of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, Kenya
The Government of Kenya has made strategic planning mandatory for all government organizations. Strategic planning is a new concept in public organizations. Strategic planning without effective strategic management is unlikely to lead to success. Strategic management is a continuous process that ensures effective implementation, evaluation and control of strategic plans. Without execution, strategic plans are useless. The current study looked at the strategic management practices adopted by the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, of Kenya. The objective of the study was to establish whether the DVS had fulfilled the government directive of strategic planning. The study employed a descriptive qualitative case study research design. Primary data was obtained through researcher administered interviews of senior managers at the level of Deputy Director of Veterinary Services who were heads of Divisions/Sections /Units based at the DVS headquarters, at Kabete. Four senior managers were interviewed. Secondary data was obtained from the DVS Draft Strategic Plan 2013-2017 and the Restructuring of National Offices in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries report of 17th April 2014.The study found that DVS has embarked on the strategic planning process and has a draft strategic plan 2013-2017 in place. The draft strategic plan has the vision, mission, core values, Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis, goal setting, strategic choices, budget plans, and stakeholder analysis. The draft strategic plan indicates that DVS is grossly underfunded by the National Treasury and therefore the resources for implementation would have to be mobilised from elsewhere, including donors. The study also found that, DVS had undergone major changes in its organizational structure and management personnel, whereby, the Divisions have been reduced from 9 to 5, and new managers put in place as heads of Divisions. The study concludes that, DVS has embarked on strategic planning but requires strategic management of the process to ensure that the process is effective. In addition, the study found that DVS has not aligned its resource allocation, policies, structure and organizational culture with the intended strategic plan or vision. In the absence of a finalized strategic plan, DVS may not deliver its mandate effectively. The study recommends training of the senior management staff of the DVS on the Strategic Management Process and its potential benefits. The study also suggests further studies be carried out to establish the factors impeding the finalization of the strategic plan document. Further studies are also recommended, albeit at a later stage, to establish the impact of the current changes on the performance of DVS. The findings of the study imply that government agencies, like private organizations, are affected by external changes in their environment and would therefore benefit from strategic management. Without strategic management, the government of Kenya directive, that all its agencies embark on strategic planning, may not achieve the intended purpose of improved service delivery.