Strategy practices within commercial internet services providers (ISPs) in Kenya
This study was conducted with the objective of finding out the state of strategy practices within commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kenya with a focus on those ISPs registered and operating in Nairobi. Developments in strategic management theory and practice have tended to reflect business circumstances in the developed world's context. Though some studies have been done in Africa, none has been done to establish and document strategic management theory and practice within the Internet Service Providers. This study has been conducted to establish and document strategic management practices within the Internet Service Providers in Kenya. The study had one main objective: To establish and document strategy practices within commercial Internet Service Providers registered and operating in Nairobi, Kenya. To achieve this, primary data was collected through personal interviews with senior managers in the within the ISP Industry. Data was analyzed using simple descriptive statistics such as the averages percentages, mean, proportions and frequency distribution. Comparison with a few of the studies done in Kenya in the field of strategic management theory and practice was also done. Similarities and differences existed between these studies and this could be explained by the sectoral as well as the environmental differences. Findings from this study revealed that Internet Service Providers practiced some form of strategic management in that they had written mission statements, they set organizational plans and objectives and were involved to some varying degrees on various form on competitor analysis, industry analysis, and environmental scanning. Two older firms with over 5 years since establishment followed formal strategic management procedures and had their strategies written down and communicated to he staff in written form. Majority of the others - 85% of the firms were applying strategic management practices but this was not in a very formal manner in all aspects. Compelled by the increased competition and the need to provide their customers with value added services, Internet Service Providers have employed strategic management in various ways. According to Porter (1980), business strategy is all about competition and specifically trying to give organizations competitive advantages over their competitors. Without competition, there would be no need for strategy. It is the employment of various aspects of strategic management that has enabled the successful firms develop a competitive edge over their competitors. Those firms that have strategies have grown as shown by company Cl in this study. Those that are developing and using various strategies are also growing and the general trend is the adoption of various aspects of strategic management practices within the Internet Service Providers. This is not to say however that strategic management is the only factor contributing to the growth of the firms, it is one of the many factors but it does play a significant part in giving a company direction in relation to its future scope.
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