Challenges of strategy implementation in a devolved government system: A study of Kenya rural roads authority
A myriad of factors can potentially affect the process by which strategic plans are turned into organizational action (Noble 1999). Noble argues that it is not surprising that, after a comprehensive strategy or single strategic decision has been formulated, significant difficulties usually arise during the subsequent implementation process. The best formulated strategies may fail to produce superior performance for the firm if they are not successfully implemented. Following the promulgation of new Constitution in the year 2010, a devolved system of government was created, with two levels of government (central Government and county governments) which are distinct and interdependent. The new constitution 2010, categorizes Kenyan roads into the national trunk roads and the county roads. To ensure a smooth process and continued service delivery to the public, KeRRA needs to align their strategic plans in line with the new constitution as far as practicable. This fundamentally raises institutional framework challenges as the authority implements their strategic plans in managing the roads-sector. Thus this study sought to determine the challenges of strategy implementation at Kenya Rural Roads Authority in a devolved government system with a view to discern pattern. Data was collected from the 35 out of the 47 KeRRA regional offices spread across the counties representing 74%. Interviews were conducted amongst regional engineers who implement the strategic plans within the ranks of KeRRA management. The study established several challenges that face KeRRA during strategy implementation. These include: inadequate capacity at KeRRA regional offices and the inadequate funding to effectively complete all planned projects; inadequate operation management systems; escalating cost of road construction materials amongst others. The recommendation is that further research should be done in the area of strategy implementation among other sectors in Kenya whose key activities have been devolved such as land and health sectors. The study limitations were time and resources. We could not reach insecurity prone KeRRA regional areas and this constrained the scope of the research. In addition, it did not include other important fields of strategic management such as strategy development.