Organizational culture and the implementation of strategy at Nakumatt holdings limited in Kenya
Organizational culture is central to the life of any organization. It is embedded in its practices and governs the relationships of all organizational members. Different organizations have different cultures which help to distinguish each from the other. The implementation of strategy is necessitated by the need for organizations to achieve certain objectives that give them a competitive advantage in a business environment that is constantly changing. Organizational culture can either facilitate or hinder the successful implementation of strategy. It facilitates the process when the values in the strategy being adopted are supported by those held and shared by organizational members. Lack of alignment between organizational culture and strategy is the main cause of failure in the implementation of strategy. This study applied a case study of Nakumatt Holdings Limited to determine the impact of organizational culture on the implementation of strategy. Nakumatt Holdings Limited was the best choice for the study because it is the market leader in the retail industry in Kenya and has managed to successfully adopt a variety of strategies in the course of its business. The study was based on the contingency theory which states that there is no one best way of organizing a corporation. This theory is concerned with finding the best fits and alignments. The research study was also founded on the dynamic capabilities theory of firms which is based on two principles; renewing competencies and developing firm specific capabilities. Data was collected through the use of an interview guide. The interviewee was the Regional Director, Strategy and Operations at Nakumatt Holdings Limited. The researcher was able to identify the dominant cultures at Nakumatt Holdings Limited as innovative culture and clan culture. These two cultures have been very instrumental in providing a healthy work environment that drives commitment and loyalty to the implementation of strategy. Strategy implementation also takes a participatory approach in the organization. This gave employees freedom to act and provided necessary feedback on the progress towards reaching set targets. The study also revealed that implementation of strategy will only do well in a culture that is supportive, flexible and one that values the welfare of organizational members. Sometimes, the type of organizational culture will determine the best strategy that should be implemented by an organization and sometimes the adoption of a particular strategy may call for cultural change. The impact of organizational culture on strategy implementation can be managed through sensitization and training programmes, cultural change, linking rewards to performance and open and clear communication of strategy. The study determined that there is a direct link between organizational culture and the implementation of strategy and that there is need for managers to know and understand the underlying cultural assumptions in their organizations before embarking on any strategic initiatives. This will prevent improper implementation of strategy and failures, while reducing conflict and resistance. The best course of action is to create a culture- strategy fit in organizations. This will get things done fast and effectively.