Integration of global professional services as a strategic orientation by ernst & young Kenya
Global professional service firms operated under professional services networks, which are networks of independent firms who come together to cost-effectively provide services to clients through an organized framework. Ernst & Young (EY) is a global leader in assurance, advisory, tax and transaction advisory services. Its global headquarters are based in London, UK and the U.S. firm is headquartered at 5 Times Square, New York, New York. As of 2014, it is ranked by Forbes magazine the 9th largest private company in the United States. This study addressed the following two (2) research objectives: determining the extent to which EY Kenya has adopted integration in its operations and determining the benefits of such approach by EY Kenya. The study adopted a case study design. It targeted ten senior managers including partners. The study collected both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected using an interview guide. Data was analyzed using content analysis. The study established that integration strategy had been significantly implemented as many of the operations in the firm were globalized and brought on the same platform as member firms in other countries. The implementation of the strategy witnessed several changes in the firm including restructuring where some roles were done away with to fit into the global structure and reporting structure. Integration brought about many effects on firm performance including: expanding the markets served globally thereby enabling the firms to conveniently serve its globally spread customer base. The firm encountered several challenges in executing integration strategy including: resistance to change among staff as they preferred the status quo. The integration brought many benefits to the firm including: helping in communicating the firm’s vision, cost saving, helping EY Kenya in managing risk thereby helping develop common policies that apply across the globe. It further helped in building consensus on priorities and investments and facilitating joint action and resulted in an expansion of the knowledge base and improved information exchange. The study recommends that the firm continues to motivate employees to fully embrace and support implementation of the integration strategy because the employees are key implementing agents and from the study, it could be noted that some employees were not happy with the integration strategy implementation. The study further recommends that the management avails necessary and adequate resources for strategy implementation so as to achieve the ‘Vision 2020’ goals. This will harmonize the operations of the EY globally. The study further recommends that the global firm clearly document the integration strategy success so as to help employees measure the milestones attained. This will motivate them to work extra hard to ensure the ‘Vision 2020’ targets are attained.