Dimensions of Strategic Intent Execution and Performance of Universities in Kenya
Muraguri, Charity Wairimu
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Universities worldwide are facing challenges arising from a high level of competitiveness and pressure to deliver their strategic intents according to their mission and vision statements; however, they lack the capacity to sustain achievement of their full potential. Empirical evidence suggests the existence of performance complexities in universities, but few endeavours have been directed towards understanding the manner in which the execution of strategic intent affects performance of universities in Kenya. This study sought to investigate dimensions of strategic intent execution and performance of universities in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: assess the effect of organisational leadership, strategic communication, and strategy alignment variables on performance of universities in Kenya; assess the combined effect of dimensions of strategic intent execution on performance of universities in Kenya; establish the mediating effect of process execution on the relationship between dimensions of strategic intent execution and performance of universities in Kenya; and determine the moderating influence of institutional environment on the relationship between dimensions of strategic intent execution and performance of universities in Kenya. The study adopted a mixed research design consisting of explanatory and cross-sectional survey designs. The target population was 25 universities that had been in operational for at least five years by the time of this study. These universities had a total of 289 respondents at managerial and faculty levels. A sample of 168 respondents was selected using stratified and simple random sampling techniques. Primary data were collected using an interview schedule and a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire based on a five-point Likert scale. Secondary data were collected through document review of strategic plans, and university quality circles and policy manuals. Descriptive statistics was used to summarise the survey data while multiple regression analysis was utilised for testing the research hypotheses and drawing conclusion. An analysis was through using Stata version 21.0. The results were exhibited in form of figures and tables. Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis and the findings presented according to patterns and themes. The study revealed the existence of a positive relationship between dimensions of strategic intent execution and performance of universities in Kenya in which organisational leadership, strategic communication, and strategy alignment were statistically significant. The study also found a partial mediation effect of process execution on the relationship between organisational strategic intent execution and performance. The findings further revealed that institutional environment had no moderating effect on the relationship between organisational strategic intent execution and performance. The findings of this research are likely to trigger policy makers in universities to develop new competencies and capacities using strategic intent as a key resource. The research findings could provide a framework for improving the performance of universities in Kenya as the key pillars in the education sector as well as the realisation of Vision 2030. As universities evaluate the execution of their strategic intent, the results of this study could be of value in calling for intensified action and goodwill in the form of investment in the key dimensions of strategic intent, which are critical to the performance of these institutions.