Strategy implementation by commercial banks in Kenya
Strategy implementation is a carefully considered process of ensuring that strategies which have been formulated within the organization are executed effectively and efficiently in order to achieve organizations goals and objectives. It is a continuous feedback mechanism process that ensures that strategies are relevant, objective and effective to the organizations goals. Currently banking institutions in Kenya face a dynamic, fast paced, competitive environment not only on a local but on a global scale. It is therefore imperative for each to develop strategies that enable it to survive and maximize value to all its stakeholders. However, the mere formulation is not important as the mere formulation of strategies will not guarantee its success. The banks will be successful only when the strategy formulation is sound and implementation is excellent. The study was carried out to find out how strategy implementation is carried out by commercial banks in Kenya. The study was conducted through a descriptive cross sectional survey targeting all the commercial banks in Kenya. Out of the 43 licensed banks 35 responded giving a response rate of 83.3%.The study established that: Majority of the banks develop guidelines/models to guide the process of strategy implementation but the adherence to the guidelines varies. The responsibility is assigned to different levels of staff (Board of directors and senior management, lower management and relevant departmental staff). Different steps are given varying level of emphasis in different institutions the high scored steps were ensuring the staff have the required skills, allocating ample resources to those activities critical to strategic success and installing information and operating systems that enable personnel better carry out their roles. A variety of internal and external factors unique to each institution influence the process of strategy implementation. The following attained the highest scores out of those provided to respondents: level of ‘ownership’ of strategy implementation among key employees, competence of the institution to plan, manage and implement strategic initiatives, level of upper management support, understanding the role of organizational structure and design in the implementation process, commitment to providing financial resources needed, human resources and technological resources and communication process. It recommends that banks may outsource the process to firms with experience in the field, banks should not overlook the myriad of factors that influence the process and policy makers can enforce best practices identified like developing guidelines for the process and setting of key performance indicators. Limitations arose owing to respondents giving positive information to present a good picture of their organization and senior officers not responding on claims of being too busy. Comparative research could be conducted in other industries to identify any similarities or differences or specific study could be done for banks in similar tiers.