An assessment of the operating efficiency and profitability of income - generating activities: a case of Kenyatta University.
Otolo, Margaret Kanini
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Institutional income generation continues to assume importance especially during this period when the country is undergoing difficult economic conditions that have forced the government to reduce the financial assistance to public universities. Public institutions have been challenged to be innovative and to revitalize the existing production units and create others to generate income. At the time of this study, it was evident that some income - generating activities had been initiated at Kenyatta University, but it is apparent that the potential did not seem to have been sufficiently exploited. This study was carried out to assess the efficiency and profitability of the income-generating units at Kenyatta University. The study sought to analyse what kind of IGAs were in existence, how they were managed and what caliber of personnel managed them, and what factors hindered their growth and the takeoff of potential IGAs. Seventeen income-generating units were visited, where structured questionnaire, interview, and personal observations were used to collect data. The study established that efficiency of the IGAs was affected by among other factors, the lack of proper feasibility study to ascertain the economic viability before too much resource investment was put in. Poor planning, unprofessional management of the IGAs, ineffective policy on IGAs and inadequate central administration support and goodwill were also said to be affecting the efficiency of the IGAs. In light of the research findings, this study has suggested that a policy on the operations of the IGAs be clearly spelt out and communicated to the interested parties, a centralised body be established with such functions as advisory, supervisory, co-ordination and appraisal of the IGAs. It was also recommended that the personnel working in these IGAs should be rationalised and trained to acquire appropriate skills to conceptualise the respective IGA units as profit centers.