Strategic management practices and organizational culture adopted by Centum investment company limited in Kenya
Organizations do not operate in a vacuum, but within an environment, which impacts on the business, by posing opportunities or threats to the organization as it endeavors to achieve its objectives. To be successful, organizations develop strategy in order to set direction, define or clarify the organization goals, provide consistency or guidance and focus effort in response to the environment .Great strategies may be developed, but they only become useful when effectively implemented. Organizational culture plays a critical role in enabling entrenching of strategic management practices in an organization. For strategy to succeed, the organizational culture needs to be highly considered and aligned to the strategic management practices. The study intended to further contribute with the understanding of strategic management practices in organizations and how they are influenced by culture. It used case study methodology, focusing on CENTUM, an investment company based in Kenya. Case study was used in order to get an in-depth understanding of the organization. Primarily data was obtained through face to face interviews contacted on employees at different management levels. An interview guide was circulated in advance to prepare the interviewees and help them get required facts in goodtime. Secondary data was also collected from the existing documentation of the company. Qualitative content analysis was undertaken on the data obtained bearing in mind the research objectives to draw relevant conclusions. The study established that strategic management practices are well embedded in CENTUM. Businesses should conduct thorough situational analysis and need to understand the environment they are operating and set appropriate strategies to remain successful. Long term strategies should be broken into shorter term operational plans and responsibility for execution assigned to specific employees. Performance should be regularly tracked and timely corrective actions taken. Appropriate resourcing and structure should be put in place to support strategy. The study concluded that having a well embedded strategic management practices in an organization helps it remain focused in achieving intended long term goals. However, no matter how good the strategy process, culture is a critical element for consideration. Culture has strong influence on strategy. Ensuring that as many employees believe and own the goals of the organization through involvement and communication as well as linking rewards to strategy helps to get buy in. Organizations leaders should endeavor to ensure that the appropriate culture exists to support strategy and if gaps are indentified, appropriate culture change program should be promptly initiated. While the study revealed a lot, it also faced some limitations. It was based on a single entity and it is possible that the organizational cultural influence on strategic management practices from other organizations may have led to broader or different findings. Not all expected management interviewees were available for the interview in the agreed scheduled times for the field work because of their busy office engagements and others did not completely make it for the interviews. The study has implications on policy, theory and practice. It provides good bases for formulating policies on strategic management practices and organizational culture and how it impacts on employees. It strongly reinforces the theory that for strategy to be successfully implemented, other organizational elements like structure and culture must be aligned. As a practice, organizational leaders need to ensure that their businesses have a well formulate strategy which is supported by an appropriate culture in order for the implementation to succeed.