Influence of organizational culture on strategy implementation at the University of Nairobi
Organizations prepare strategies which in most cases are never implemented for various reasons. Translating strategic thought into organization action is the most difficult phase of strategic management and without successful implementation of strategies the organization will not achieve its objectives. The main purpose of this study was to establish the influence of organizational culture at the University of Nairobi. The study was modelled for a case study design which is a qualitative analysis involving a careful and complete observation of data. The case study allowed an investigation to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real life events. The study used both primary and secondary data where primary data was collected by use of face to face interview between the researcher and the respondents. On the other hand, secondary data was obtained from University of Nairobi documents such as the strategic plan, service charter, performance contracts, ISO certification documents annual reports and annual performance evaluations. The data was qualitatively analysed using content analysis techniques in order to give in-depth findings of the study. The information was evaluated and analysed to determine its usefulness, credibility, consistency and adequacy. In coding qualitative data the researcher read all the responses, identified key information and related it to emerging patterns. The outcome was then compared in order to get more revelation on challenges of strategy implementation at the University of Nairobi. The findings provided an insight on how organizational culture is inculcated by the university and how it affects implementation of strategy. The study found that culture at the university is inculcated from recruitment of staff to deployment; it is also observed in the way tasks are carried out, the systems developed to support tasks. Some of the challenges of implementing culture at the University of Nairobi in its strategy implementation include; resistance to change, existing policies and procedures and the external environment. It was established that the University of Nairobi has a five years strategic plan (2008-2013), which laid down four main goals and sets four objectives to be achieved within the planed period. They include; providing facility for university education, participating in the discovery, transmission and preservation of knowledge, conducting examinations and granting academic awards. It was further established that the University of Nairobi adopts a formal strategic planning process which involves members of the management team with other members of staff being represented by respective trade unions. The study further found out that the formality adopted by the university in its strategic planning resulted into a strategic document (strategic plan), whose time horizon is five years. Various methods were found to be used by the university in inculcating culture. They include, change management, carrying out training for staff, improving on information technology, and culture change among others. Conclusions were drawn and specific recommendations made. Overall findings showed that organizational culture had an influence on University of Nairobi implementing its strategies. If adopted findings of this study will help organizations to understand the role of organizational culture as well as successfully inculcate them. Among the recommendations were; the university involves all its staff in strategy implementation to encourage ownership, Management avails resources needed for strategy implementation, identify strategy critical value chain as well as focusing on a lean, flat responsive, and innovative organization structure among others.