The strategic responses by the Kenya Television Network to changes in its external environment
Organizations are environment dependent .They operate within an environment that is constantly presenting new opportunities and threats. Successful companies take an outside view of their business .They understand the importance of continuously monitoring and adapting their activities to changes in the environment. Companies that fail to see change as an opportunity, resist change until it’s too late. Their strategies, structures, systems and organizational culture grow increasingly obsolete and dysfunctional. Over the past 15 years, the media industry in Kenya had grown exponentially with tremendous changes in its external environment. Until the 1990s, KI3C was the only Kenyan TV station. The liberalization of the airwaves in the early 1990s created opportunities for a more diverse media playing field, with KTN being the first private owned TV station to break KBC’s monopoly. The / objective of this study was to determine the strategic responses by the Kenya Television Network to changes in its external environment. In achieving the research objective, the researcher adopted a case study research design approach. Senior staff members at KTN were interviewed and gave information that helped in arriving at the research objective and conclusion. An interview guide was used to guide the researcher in collecting data. Content analysis was then used to analyze the qualitative primary data which had been collected by conducting interviews. fhe study established that KTN had faced numerous changes in its business environment just like any other organization and was strategically responding to these changes in the environment. KTN revealed that it had a 3-5 years plan that would see the company improve and expand its infrastructure. This is expected to give the company a competitive edge over competition. While in the past TV viewership was driven by news, the situation had changed and TV viewership was controlled by programming with the biggest audience segment having a high affiliation for local content. In response to the need for local content, the station was investing a lot in the production of local content that is of high quality and that would attract high viewership. While all other stations were transmitting from Limuru, KTN had its transmission in Ngong giving it poor reception compared to other stations. It had since moved its transmission equipment to Limuru and expected viewership to go up. The country is expected by law to go fully digital by 2015 bringing with it new technological changes into the industry. The researcher established that KTN’s systems where compliant to the new technology and that it was a market leader in technology advancement. It was working towards a tapeless work How. The government had also played hard on the station through its regulatory body CCK by not licensing it to transmit in all parts of the country. This had limited KTN’s outreach compared to its competitors who are licensed to operate in these areas. The researcher also established that competition in the industry was on the rise with more players coming on board and segmenting the industry further and so the station was differentiating itself further by offering unique quality programming. The researcher feels a great need for KTN and the industry to invest more in integrating their systems to the internet as there was a growing shift by the young generation from TV to social networks such as face book, twitter and you tube. With the transition from analog to digital, TV stations should tap into the new opportunity need to personalize TV viewership. This study adopted a case study approach whose predominant data collection method is personal interviews. In this way, the respondents had to spare time out of their busy schedules to participate in the study. Therefore the study was limited by time with respect to data capturing because the interviewees could spare very short time which prove inadequate for further probing. A similar study should be done after few years to establish the impact of the strategic responses being undertaken now. It is also suggested that a study be carried out to determine the strategic responses by other TV stations in Kenya towards changes in the environment. This will provide further insight on the nature of developments taking place in the industry and what kind of responses could be prominent.
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