Strategic Management Best Practices Applied In Performance Of The Top Five Public Secondary Schools In North District Of Kajiado County, Kenya
The study sought to establish if the top five public secondary schools of Kajido North , Kajiado county apply strategic management best practices. Also sought to find out if these practices have enhanced performance in these schools. The research was in the form of a case study. This is because the top five public secondary schools are known and hence form a unit of study. It involved the use of an interview guide to interview the school principals, deputy principles and Heads of departments in each school. Secondary data was from district Kenya national examinations analysis school records and school documents. Data analysis was by content analysis. The study revealed that strategic management best practice are observable and highly formal in the top number one school. Position two to five schools the practices exist but not formal. In position one school vision, mission, termly theme, strategic objectives are discussed and the various levels of management are represented. Strategic objectives and targets setting is on top- bottom basis. School motto, vision and mission statements are well communicated throughout the institution and all are keen to observe them. This has ensured high level of efficiency with which duties and responsibilities are executed. All schools are not keen on conducting environmental analysis and benchmarking. All the five schools go by the organizational structure as it is given by the ministry of Education .There exist no formal document showing it. Reporting procedures are explained by word of mouth with much assumption that everyone knows who to go to and where to go for requirements by virtue of his or her professional rank. Position three school has core values but none of the HODs could recall a single value. Position two, four and five schools have no documented care values but pick and emphasized known care values at random. As a result of these findings the study recommends that organizational structure be formally v drawn and displayed for all to refer to. This will reduce confusion and avoid communication break down. The study established that position one school has adapted strategic management best practice to a great extent. The school has a strategic plan n place which was quite inclusive during its formulaton. Vision and mission statements, strategic objectives , targets, action plans, termly themes and annual theme are clearly stated and communicated to all. It ccasionally practice benchmarking and well stipulated cares values. The top management of the school which involves the Principal, Deputy principals and B.O.G academic committee are highly involved in motivating the teaching and non staff for their achievement. The vision and mission statements, termly themes are care values are adequately communicated to all the school stake holders and this has a bearing on the school performance for the last five years. This has had the school produce the best student in K. C. S. E examinations for the last three years who are currently under Equity bank sponsorship. Their names are displayed on the main entrance on the students academic board of honours. Position three school has school motto ,vision and mission statements though little known to those interviewed especially the heads of departments. Core values also exist but not well communicated. As the respondents put it the students were aware of them, a sign of how informal the strategic management practices are in the school. For the other three schools in the list of top five, the study reveals elements of uncoordinated strategic management best practice. The vision, mission statements exist more on paper than is formally practiced by all. None of these schools has chosen care values upheld by all so as to formally establish school culture. However the study revealed that all the top five public secondary schools do not conduct situational analysis. This process has been reduced to identification of general problems facing the schools and the departments. There also exist no well documented policy on benchmarking procedure; neither do they fully involve subordinate staff.The study recommends to the top five public secondary schools in Kajiado north to involve the entire staff in sharing their vision, mission statements. Environmental Scanning should involve more than just noting problems facing the schools and their various departments but a though examination of both external and internal environments of the schools. To reduce dissatisfaction among various levels of management, stakeholders more participation and communication across board is recommended. Performance monitoring and Evaluation especially for the position two to five school be more effective to give timely feedback for necessary decisions to be made. The gap between the top management (principal and the B. O. G) and the rest of the departments be narrowed through bonding and effective communication.
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