Integration Flow Management and Operations Efficiency: a Study of the Aviation Industry in Kenya
The essential impacts of flow management originate from a mutual understanding, greater transparency, as well as an improved communication coupled with the information and material flows. The study sought to investigate the relationship between integration flow management and operations efficiency among firms in Kenya‟s aviation industry. For the study design, a descriptive survey research design was adopted. The objectives of the study included: to identify the various integration flow management practices adopted in Kenya‟s aviation industry; and establish the relationship between integration flow management and operations efficiency among firms in Kenya‟s aviation industry. Both secondary and primary data were utilized in the study. The collection of primary data was done by the use of semi-structured questionnaires. On the other hand, secondary data was retrieved from the annual financial and corporate reports of the firms. The respondents in the study were operations managers of the firms. A census approach was applied in the study in which case, the sampling frame consisted of all the 66 airlines in Kenya. For measuring the output of the responses obtained from the participants, a 5-point Likert scale was used. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe and analyze the variables numerically. These included simple means and standard deviations, Analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Chi-Square test. The study establishes a statically significant relationship between integration flow management and operations efficiency among firms in Kenya‟s aviation industry. The study concludes that; Active Employee Involvement, Infrastructure & Technology, Cooperation & Teamwork, Adaptation of Points View, and Integral Re-organization are the main integration flow management practices constitute the main streams of integration flow management practices that have had a significant effect on the operations efficiency of firms in the aviation industry in over the years. The study recommends that firms, not only in the aviation industry invest adequately in technology and information technology to ensure scalability and agility during process-reengineering. Given the fact that integration flow management is partly people-centered, the study recommends that firms within and beyond the aviation sector implement strategic change management strategies besides investing in complementary assets like re-training to counter resistance to new operations management approach like integrated flow management. It is clear that for a study of this magnitude, there is a need to conduct a survey on a bigger number of firms. Nevertheless, material and time resources could not allow this to be done. Because of this reason, the study concentrated on firms in Kenya‟s aviation industry. Due to the sensitivity of operations efficiency matters, some of the respondents were noncommittal posing a major challenge in the field during the data collection costing the researcher since he had to do a lot of data editing after field work. Moreover, further studies should focus on determining the specific linkages between the significant cost reductions, performance increases and an end-to-end re-organization of material and information flows. In this context, future researchers should concentrate on examining the extent to which the respective orientation of relevant company structures can enhance operations efficiency.
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