Strategy Implementation and Performance of Embu County Government, Kenya
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Implementation of strategies is one of the most challenging tasks County Governments are facing in Kenya including Embu County. Due to challenges of implementing strategies formulated, Embu County has been experiencing deteriorating performance. Effective strategy implementation is thought to influence performance of organizations. Limited studies have been conducted to establish the effect of strategy implementation on the performance of County governments in Kenya. Therefore, it is on this background that this study sought to establish the of strategy implementation on performance of County governments in Kenya focusing on Embu County. The specific objectives of the study were to determine the effect of employee training, organization structure and organization culture on performance of Embu County Government. Theories that were used to inform the study included resource based view, sequential thinking, transformational leadership and holistic strategy implementation theories. The study adopted a descriptive research design. Descriptive research design was appropriate method because it provides opportunities to collect analyze and interpret data without manipulation. Further, it gives researchers the ability to collect qualitative data and incorporate the views in the research findings. The study adopted a census approach where information was collected from the top level management of the County Government of Embu. Respondents of the study comprised of County cabinet secretaries, deputy cabinet secretaries and administrators. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data since they provided an opportunity of capturing respondent information in a structured manner and provide the flexibility of answering the questions without interference of the researcher as in the case of interview schedules. Secondary data was obtained from strategic plans, Vision 2030 and Sessional papers on development of Counties in Kenya. Validity of the instrument was determined by using experts in strategic management in the School of Business, Kenyatta University while reliability of the instrument was determined by using Cronbach Alpha coefficients of 0.7. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis where key themes were selected from public content and verbatim statements and conclusions and recommendations were made. Quantitative data was analyzed using correlation and regression analysis by application of Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS version 22). To test the statistical significance between variables, regression analysis was conducted at 95% confidence level. The analyzed information was tabulated and presented in form mean scores, percentages and standard deviation. The study concludes that even though employee training had a significant influence on performance of Embu County Government, inappropriate employee skills and inadequate employee support were are issues of concern. The study found that organizational structure did moderately affect performance of Embu County Government; rigidity of the County Government structure, delegation and bottom up communication were rare practices in various ministries of the County and this contributed to underperformance of the County in general. Inability of the leaders to encourage teamwork through open door culture also was attributed to deteriorating performance of the Embu County Government. The study recommends that County governments should train employees to equip them with the right skills, develop structures aligned to the organizational strategy and organizational culture be strongly reinforced as a practice that influences employee behavior at work.