Environmental Determinants of Organization and Structure of Kenya’s Cabinet
Otieno, Joshua Michael Daniel
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In any government, the constitution of line ministries and selection of Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) is influenced by key ecological factors that include: social, political, economic, cultural, legal, historical, and to an extension global. This is espoused in the Contingency Theory. Although the Constitution of Kenya (CoK) 2010 offers guiding principles on design of the Cabinet, its formation remains in contention. The following external environmental factors for the purposes of this study were considered: regional/ethnic diversity, cabinet size, gender mainstreaming, and individual competence and professionalism. The study focussed on understanding the factors that determine the creation and reorganization of Cabinet ministries. Although a few studies on the same exists focused on the developed countries, there is limited empirical evidence in this area of study in Kenya. Also, there is a gap in empirical tests on organizational theory particularly with respect to the relationship between the organization and its environment. The study used descriptive design to provide a record of the characteristics of the phenomena of the organization and structure of the Kenyan Government. The target population in this study was 256 comprising of staff from the Cabinet Affairs Office and institutions with expertise in the field of public policy and administration. A sample size of 45 was purposively selected from this target population, 30 being officials in committees charged with the creation and reorganization of Kenya government ministries and those with the insight in the selection of Cabinet Secretaries. Fifteen (15) were respondents drawn from institutions with expertise in the area of public policy and administration for balance and objectivity. The study used both primary and secondary data. Self-administered semi-structured questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect the research data. The questionnaires were used to collect data from the Executive Office of the President staff and knowledge experts from select institutions were interviewed. The data collected was coded thematically and thereafter analysed. Qualitative data was analysed thematically and guided by research objectives and questions. The emerging themes were politics, resource management, inclusivity, and meritocracy. The findings indicate that regional/ ethnic diversity considerations have the greatest influence on the organization and structure of Kenya’s Cabinet as the country’s politics is ethnicized. Resource management considerations are to be made in relation to the size of government. Gender mainstreaming is still a challenge due to poor implementation, cultural attitudes and the women’s political inactivity. Solutions should be crafted with this in mind. There is need for meaningful public participation for transparency and accountability in Government.