Practices and influence of strategic planning on the organisational performance of Kenyatta national hospital
The main purpose of the study was to determine the Strategic planning practices adopted by Kenyatta National Hospital and how these practices have influenced the performance of the hospital. The findings from this study may particularly be useful in providing additional knowledge to the hospital and other organizations on strategic planning practices adapted so as to remain competitive. The research design that was used in this study was case study. Primary data was collected using interview guide. The researcher interviewed eight (8) managers in the Executive Management Committee of the hospital. The researcher used content analysis to analyse the data through describing phenomena, classifying it and seeing how the concepts interconnect. It is established that Kenyatta National Hospital has a well-founded strategic planning system. The hospital adapted strategic planning from year 2005 and is in the third cycle. The first two strategic plans were based on log frame framework but the third strategic plan (2013-2018) is based on Balance Score Card approach. Strategic planning process of the hospital is participatory which involves consultations with different players in the hospital. However, on the ground, more intense consultations are undertaken by managers and the lower cadres are marginally involved. The hospital has a documented Vision and Mission which are displayed in all offices, open spaces and on all official documents. The same are also on audio recording in the telephone system. The strategic plans are approved by the Board of the Management prior to implementation. The implementation of the strategic plan is spearheaded by the planning department and is cascaded in the hospital through individual managers‟ performance contracts. Each department is expected to draw its own objectives from the strategic plan. It was however found that the parameters of the performance contracts are not exactly a replica of the strategic plan and this is explained by the fact that such parameters are drawn by the central government and they change every year, whereas the strategic plan has a continuous five years period life. The overall implementation of the strategic plan has over the years been below fifty per cent. The dismal performance can be traced to lack of staff commitment, especially clinical staff, external political interference, poor finance base, low automation and obsolete equipment. Nevertheless, it was found that the performance of the hospital has been positively influenced by strategic planning. From customers and employee satisfaction surveys, it is evident that performance has improved, in spite of uncontrollable factors, the hospital finance base has improved and from the findings the hospital has made great strides during the era of strategic planning more than any other period in the history of the hospital. This then justifies the notion of the study that strategic planning improves organizational performance.