Relationship between organizational agility and operational productivity at Kenya Ports Authority
The competitive business environment has gone through many evolutions. Great consumer demand for customization has led to a short product life cycles thus creating the need for flexibility strategy. The nature of these changes has necessitated firms to have capabilities beyond flexibility described as agility.Agility capabilities are considered as main features of today’s forward-looking organizations. Those organizations which possess such characteristics would be able to achieve competitive advantage and gain an edge over competitors. Over the last decade, Kenya Ports Authority faced numerous operational challenges such as port congestion, old and unreliable cargo handling equipment, slow and manual processing of documentations, poor infrastructure, constrained berths and yards and high rate of cargo pilferage. The challenges contributed to low productivity thus there was urgent need for Kenya Ports Authority to enhance efficiency and operational productivity. The study sought to demistify the effect of agility practices on Port productivity. A longitudinal research design was used for the research. Secondary data was used and detailed information on dependent and independent variables were obtained from Kenya Ports Authority. Productivity measures namely ship turnaround time, ship waiting time, berth occupancy, total cargo throughput, cargo dwell time and total number of twenty feet equivalent units handled and agility measures namely reliability, quality and speed were tested for the period under study and analysed using the SPSS software. The study revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between the productivity indicators (that is, ship turn-around time, cargo dwell time, total cargo throughput and the number of twenty feet equivalent units handled except waiting time and berth occupancy). The study further concluded that relationship between agility practices and port productivity existed at high significance level. It recommends that Kenya Ports Authority should adopt full implementation of agile practices to experience improved productivity. By adopting agility practices, KPA can provide transport solutions by developing the capability to effectively control transport chain through extra-flexibility and capacity utilization.The study finally recommends that more research be done not only at KPA but also in other service firm to clearly establish the relationship of the study variables and the benefits.