Managing strategic change at the Kenya Roads Board
The Business environment especially in the last five years (2005-2010) has been punctuated with a great deal of environmental turbulence. Environmental turbulence has seen fundamental changes in the corporate and public sectors. Changes in politics,governance, IT, customer preferences and tastes, globalization and increased competition have left many firms with inability to manage the change process. It is for this reason that the study intends to find out how strategic change has been managed at the KRB. The study is, therefore a case study with two main objectives; first, the study will seek to establish the strategic change management practices at the KRB; secondly, the research seeks to establish the factors influencing strategic change management at KRB. The need for this research arose from the fact that little, if any, research has been undertaken in the area under investigation. Again the strategic change management practices of firms have become a central focus in the recent times in Kenya especially given the lack of leadership and the nature of resistance to change. It is believed that the findings of this study will be both crucial to both the management of KRB, the Government and donors in relation to policy matters. The study adopted the case study design which focused on the KRB. Data was collected by use of interview guides whereby Heads of Departments (seven in number) were interviewed. Analysis and presentation of data was undertaken qualitatively through content analysis. From the findings KRB was found to have adopted both planned change and emergent change management approaches. Employee and other stakeholder involvement in the strategic change management were key processes. Key stages in the change management included creation of urgency, developing and sharing vision, empowerment and participation of all stakeholders. However, change implementation at KRB was never smooth. There was systemic resistance arising from the non adoption of modern technology. Although employee competence was high, the lack of appropriate technology did not improve the process. Behavioral resistance by employees was also established in the study. Successful strategic management calls for strategic leadership and creation of a learning organization where all employees individually and collectively are always able to and ready to embrace change together with all its challenges with a vision of continuous change and improvement with changing environment.