Corporate Image Management Strategy and Performance of Sugar Companies in the Western Region of Kenya
Wanyama, Mildred Bakhoya
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Sugar firms have been constantly under threat of collapsing possibly after their dismal performance, leading to perception of poor corporate image. For instance, Sugar Companies in western region have been continuously receiving a negative corporate image attributed to their dismal performance. The dismal performance threatened the firms with their collapse. There have been reported incidences by various stakeholders touching on performance of the companies. This study was about corporate image management strategy and performance of sugar industries in the Western Region Kenya. Corporate image management involves a composite psychological impression which continually changes with the firm's circumstances, performance, pronouncements and media coverage. Similar to a firm's reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. The study involved determining corporate image management strategy and performance of sugar companies in the Western Region of Kenya. The study sought to determine and quantify the impact of components associated with image management on a sugar company’s performance. Functional, attitude, emotional and beliefs components were identified as the most suitable image management elements to be assessed in this study. The evaluation depicted exclusive relationships between these image management components and company performances within the sugar industry in the western region of Kenya. The study used a purposive sampling method to draw a sample of 55 respondents from relevant departments in 11 sugar companies based in Western region of Kenya. A descriptive survey research design was used in this study. This assisted in collection of data from the members of the population in this case on Corporate Image Management in Sugar Companies in western region of Kenya. The field data was analyzed using the aid of SPSS software, frequencies and measures of central tendency and dispersion of the mean and standard deviation was used to summarize the characteristics of variables in the study. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis. The findings also assisted the company management to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of their companies or organizations, create positive and assertive images with their regional and global images towards their clients. The study concluded that the functional component strategy of corporate image management among the firms was to a moderate extent applied through company identity and CSR. It was concluded that emotional component strategy of corporate image management as customer service, feedback, service charter and feedback mechanism to an average extent was applied and hence influenced performance of sugar companies in Western region of Kenya. The study further concluded that to a significantly moderate extent, the sugar companies embraced attitude and beliefs component strategy of corporate image management which contributed to positive performance of the sugar processing factories in western Kenya. The study recommends that the firms need to enhance their corporate image management strategies to turn around their performance. The study also recommends that the sugar factories need to improve their resource management mechanisms and efficiency to reduce losses and customer deliveries. The study recommends that the companies need to improve customer service by producing quality products, well packaged, branded and handle customer concerns in timely and professional manner.