Diversification strategies on Christian Community Services in Mt Kenya East region
Despite the decline in popularity of diversification strategy, the Christian Community Service organizations in Kenya have adopted this strategy in response to changes in the environment. This strategy ought to present numerous opportunities for effective alignment of the firm to the changing environment. This is because they depend on the environment for their inputs, processes and outputs. That is, they draw problems from the society, process the solutions internally and offer back the services to the society. Thus changes in the environment call for continuous survey on diversification opportunities and refocusing of strategies so as to curb the impacts. The Christian Community Services in Mt. Kenya East region offers developmental activities to its communities. It achieves this through integrated programs such as health, HIV/AIDS control and food security. In the recent years, the organization has been involved in the rapid growth of its operations in order to improve people’s quality of life and for survival. In spite of the efforts the society has continued to face many challenges such as high level of poverty, lack of education, poor sewerage and sanitation, conflicts among members of society, poor health, HIV/AIDS related issues and the environmental degradation. This raises the issue as to how effective is the organization’s corporate diversification in meeting the expectations of the communities. Some of the diversification studies includes Rumelt (1974), Rumelt(1982), McDougall, Fred and Round (1984), Montgomery (1985) , Montgomery and Wernerfelt (1988) and Young (2005). The local studies on diversification strategies include Mwanzi (1991) the diversification strategies and performance. She found that the levels of diversification were not associated with profitability of the firm. Mwindi (2003) did the analysis of application of unrelated diversification strategy by major oil companies. He found that the companies used the strategy to enhance customer satisfaction rather than for improving the companies financial performance. Kiilu (2004) carried out a survey on the extent of the application of Ansoff’s growth strategies to the public sector. He established that market penetration and market development had moderate extent while product development and diversification had a small extent. Wakwoma (2007) carried out a survey of product diversification strategies adopted by firms in banking industry. She found that majority of banks pursued related product diversification where the product had some kind of strategic fit. The above studies focused on different aspects and are only applicable to relevant industries. Only Kimani (2006) has studied on CCS in Kenya and he focused on the strategic response to the changes in the environment. He found that the organizations adopted diversification amongst other strategies to effectively face the challenges. However, the study on CCS did not explore the diversification strategies applied and their effectiveness hence there is an existing gap in the research on the diversification strategies. This study sought to determine the experience of diversification strategies on CCSMKE and it addressed the following questions. Why do Christian Community Services in Mt Kenya East region diversify? What diversification strategies do Christian Community Services in Mt. Kenya East region apply? How effective are these diversification strategies on Christian Community Services in Mt Kenya East region?