Environmental challenges affecting perfomance of the cement industry in Kenya - A case of East African Portland Cement
Sikujua, Whelan Seboru
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This research project focused on the environmental challenges affecting performance of the cement industry in Kenya with a case of East African Portland Cement Company. The background of the study gave an overview, structure, characteristic, and the performance of cement industry in the World, Africa, East Africa and Kenya. Problem statement hinged on key performance indicators such as; capacity utilization, cost of sales and finance costs. The study was guided by the following specific objectives; to evaluate the influence of organization‟s support for innovation on performance, to establish the influence of employees‟ commitmenton performance, to determine the influence of leadership style on performance and to establish the influence of resistance to change on performance. A descriptiveresearch design was applied in its methodology.This study targeted a population size of one company out of the five main cement manufacturing firms in Kenya. A stratified random sampling method was used to select asample size of 50 employees. Data collectioninstruments used was a questionnaire developed on the basis of the Value-Based HR (VB-HR™) Engagement Framework, Siegel Scale of Support for Innovation (SSSI), Podsakoff‟s transformational Leadership Inventory (TLI) tool for measuring leadership style and Oreg‟s Resistance to Change Scale (RTC). These questionnaires were distributed to 50 employees and completed by 46, for a 92% response rate. Descriptive statistics was used in the analysis of the data and presented by use of frequency distribution tables, percentages and bar charts. The respondents profile portrayed a qualified, relatively less experienced, youthful and energetic employees mostly men with prior experience in the private and public sector. The study revealed that the level of organization‟s support for innovation was unsatisfactory hence negatively influencing performance of the organization. The employees‟ commitment level was hampered by inequitable treatment based on the existing rewarding system, hence negatively influencing the performance.The results showed that transformational leadership as practiced by the management; save for individualized support and intellectual stimulation; positively influenced the organizational performance. Nevertheless, the management failed to impress on the transactional leadership style in the area of contingent reward, thus yielding a negative influence on performance. On resistance to change, the study revealed that the employees embraced change, hence positively influencing the performance of the organization. The study concluded that organization‟s support for innovation; employee commitment; leadership style and resistance to change are vital environmental challenges influencing performance of the cement industry in Kenya.