Strategic Management Practices Within Construction firms in Kenya
Strategic management refers, not only to the general plans within an organization, but also to the process of incorporating environmental factors in decision making. The environment in which organizations operate has necessitated organizations to think strategically as never before in order to cope with their changing circumstances. Strategic management practices therefore are one of the ways and means organizations have adopted to ensure their survival in a turbulent operating environment. The study investigated the strategic management practices of construction firms in Kenya. The study had a singular objective to establish the strategic management practices adopted by construction firms in kenya. The research was carried out by using a cross sectional survey design. A sample size of 70 registered construction firms with the Ministry of Public works was used. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data for analysis. Responses were received from 72.86% of the selected respondents. The findings showed that; most firms had a vision, a mission statement and set objectives which were either written down or implied. The firms also carried out situational analysis to establish their strategic position in their operating environment. In addition the firms had strategies on how to achieve their objectives. The firms were therefore actively involved in the strategic formulation process. A majority of the firms however did not have strategic plans on how to achieve their laid down objectives. This therefore hindered proper strategic management implementation. The research further established that the firms compared the actual performance with the desired performance to determine how far they are from their targets. The study recommended that construction firms recruit managers charged with the responsibility of strategic management . The managers will encourage the firms to embrace all aspects of strategic management to enable the firms counter the environmnetal challenges in the open business environment. The government should also take on a more active role in the protection of the local construction industry and ensure where large projects are awarded to foreigners, locals should still have a stake in those projects. The study however could only be limited to construction firms located in Nairobi and thus may not confidently reflect the happenings in the country in general. Data collection was also a challenge as some of the randomly selected firms did not co-operate in providing data. The other challenge was that some of the respondents were not familiar with some of the strategic management practices. Further research could be carried out to establish the factors that influence the strategies that construction firms adopt. Other scholars could also consider carrying out research to establish strategic management practices impact on performance of construction firms to ensure they withstand the challenges of a turbulent economic environment.
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