Organizational Factors Affecting Adoption of Strategic planning in Mission Hospitals in Kiambu County
Muhindi, Esther Wambui
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In today's highly competitive business environment, adoption of strategic planning is an important element in firms' strategic management especially business firms. This is because the firms exist in an open system and hence affect and are affected by external conditions that are largely beyond their control (Pearce and Robinson, 1997). Over the past decade, Kenya has committed to reforms to decentralize the country's health management system. This has created opportunities to be utilized through various strategies by both the public and private sectors. The general objective of this study was to establish the factors that affect the adoption of strategic planning in mission hospitals in Kiambu County in Kenya. The study focused on how these mission hospitals design and implement strategic plans. The study also focused on the challenges that they face in implementing strategy and how they address the same. The study would be of significance to the Government of Kenya, Mission Hospitals, Kiambu County and the general academia. This study used a descriptive survey that was aimed at investigating the factors affecting the adoption of strategic planning in mission hospitals in Kiambu County. The target population for this study were 11 (eleven) mission hospitals in the Kiambu County. A census was done. 25 questionnaires were returned representing a 57% response rate. However based on the number of hospitals, seven responded hence response rate of 64%. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire with both open ended and closed questions targeted at getting the answers sought by the research questions. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis were used. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data. The data has been presented using statistical techniques that include measures of central tendency mainly means and frequencies. From the findings it is clear that both the internal and external factors are important in influencing the adoption of strategic planning in any organization. It is recommended that mission hospitals and other org~izations consider design and implementing strategy taking into account all the factors of leadership; organizational culture; organizational policy; external environment; resource allocation and also organization structure. High costs involved in the developing plans; lack of trained staff and lack of positive organizational culture and policies were found to a large extent pose challenges in the adoption of strategic planning in their organizations. On the other hand lack of focus by the top management and the Board; ever changes in the environment that renders planning irrelevant and non allocation of resources to planning were found to be a challenge to a moderate extent. The respondents to a large extent agreed that strategic planning brings a lot of benefits to an organization. The benefits resulting from adoption of strategic planning include better allocation of resources in the organization; enhanced hospital competitiveness; effective organizational structure; enhanced teamwork given there is a clear focus; promotion of a positive organizational culture and policies and adoption of a coordinated approach in tackling the changes in the environment. It is recommended that further research is done to incorporate these areas as they operate in a relatively different environment compared to the ones in Kiambu County. The overall conclusion is that strategic planning is important for any organization. It is important that each organization adopts strategic planning, as an organization without a strategic plan is like a ship without a compass.