Managers of business firms employ various strategies to be more competitive and profitable. However, the question whether strategy positively impacts on performance abounds. Thus the paper was aimed at seeking answers to the question by providing a systematic review of various studies on the relationship between strategy and firm performance. Existing studies have used various strategy topologies to examine the relationship between strategy and firm performance. The most prominent ones include the typology of Chandler (1962), Miles and Snow (1978), Porter (1980) and Mintzberg (1990). There is almost unanimous agreement among studies that business organizations with a clear and consistent strategy will perform better than firms without such a strategy. It is clear from the studies that the trajectory to high levels of performance is partly based upon a strategy that would strengthen firm’s dynamic strategic capabilities which are critical mechanism between the business activities and performance.
Key words: Entrepreneurship, firm performance, strategy, topologies, SMEs.
Succession is an inevitable event in the life of a family business. The mode and the strategies employed to facilitate the trans-generational transition of ownership and control have been observed to have a significant influence on the survival and performance of family businesses. Against the background of minimal research on family business succession in Kenya, and rich entrepreneurship, this study aimed at determining the nature of business succession strategies and their influence on the performance of small and medium family businesses in Nairobi. Data on the businesses’ transition strategies and their performance were obtained from 249 SMEs through a structured questionnaire and interviews. The results indicate that family owned SMEs in Nairobi did not explicitly document their succession strategy. However contrary to expectations regarding the nature of succession, it was evident that they make significant unwritten plans for trans-generational succession. While the study did not indicate a strong and significant relationship between succession and firm performance, it emerged from the case studies that firms that went through smooth succession also recorded significant growth post transition. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the pertinent theories, previous research findings and family business management.
Key words: Succession strategy, family owned SME, performance.
This study sought to determine how students of public secondary schools in Nairobi perceive entrepreneurship as a career and whether they would want to pursue a career in entrepreneurship upon completion of school. The study bore in mind that both exogenous and endogenous factors have the potential to influence the students’ perception of entrepreneurship and thus contribute in determining their entrepreneurial intentions. As such learning Business Studies in secondary school and having parents/ guardians in self employment was viewed as having prior exposure to entrepreneurship. Data for this study was obtained by use of a questionnaire administered to randomly selected students from selected schools that were representative of public secondary schools in Nairobi. They were 135 respondents who comprised of both male and female students and students ranging from Form one (1) to Form four (4). The research revealed that although majority of students had a positive perception of entrepreneurship as a career option, there were various factors that were perceived as hindrances or challenges. Key of these was the fear of failure, lack of sufficient knowledge to start and run own business and the inadequate funds to start business. The study also revealed that there was no significant difference in the perception of entrepreneurship between students who had had prior exposure through Business Studies subject at school and those who had not studied the subject. It was also observed that students who had parents/ guardians in self employment were not highly motivated to go into entrepreneurship so as to continue in family business.
Key words: Career choice, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial perceptions
This study set out to establish change management practices within Tamoil Kenya and evaluated the change management process in light of the models of change management and factors that affected the change management process. Towards this end both primary and secondary data were collected and analyzed using conceptual content analysis. The results show organizational change at Tamoil was characterized by a lack of clarity on the future state of the organization, an overemphasis on changes to structures and simultaneous introduction of relatively many change programs. Both planned and emergent approaches to change management models were evident in management of the change process. The performance of the change management process was influenced by a number of factors namely, inadequate communication, leadership, change in culture and mild resistance by organizational members. A major success of the change management program was the improved profitability of the business while loss of experienced human resource to competition was cited as a significant failure of the change management process.
Key words: Management process, organizations, Tamoil, Kenya
A great deal of research has investigated the reason for the creation of new enterprises and the entrepreneurial characteristics of those individuals responsible for the emergence of new firms. This was a study on how do the students of the university of Nairobi business school perceive their entrepreneurial ability in relation to personal goals? The goals in entrepreneurial ability are influenced by factors such as: maximum utilization of own skills and talents; full control of own future; achievement of what one values personally; being “my own boss”; the freedom/opportunity to make own decisions; the opportunity to learn new things; financial security; performing challenging and exciting work; having peace of mind with a peaceful and stress-free life; allocation of enough free time for family, hobbies, leisure, and other interests; an opportunity to extend one’s range of abilities, a goal to accumulate wealth; desire to live an adventurous and exciting life; the goal to start own business, striving for an idea to own business, an ultimate goal to be self employed and the wish to become an influential person to the future.
Key words: Personal Goals, Entrepreneurial Ability and Business School Students.
Innovation is the key to survival in a dynamic environment. The concept of innovation finds application at all levels, micro – firm level, macro – national level and regional level. Efforts towards promoting innovation at national and regional level will impact directly on the other lower levels. This theoretical paper attempts to indicate the role of innovation hubs, place of small enterprises and the policy agenda that development planners need to focus on. It is argued that while a lot of empirical work has been carried out on innovation hubs and small enterprises, the literature is based on the western context which does not reflect the realities of the African business systems.
Key words: innovation, innovation hubs, small enterprises, African business systems, sme policy.
Despite the significant role played by micro- and small –scale enterprises (MSEs) in Kenya’s economic development, the furniture sub-sector has over the years experienced constraints that have limited it from realizing its full potential. This paper uses data from a clustered random sample of 60 furniture manufacturers from Mombasa District to identify market segmentation strategies used by these MSEs, and to establish the effects of these strategies on business growth. A chi-square statistical method is used to analyse the data. Results reveal that a 62% of the respondents employed market segmentation in their businesses, and that the business owners’ education level and the age of the business significantly influenced the market segmentation strategy employed. Further, the segmentation marketing strategy leads to growth in a firm’s market share. The results also indicate that the most commonly used segmentation variables include: income, benefit sought, and social classification. The implication of this result is the critical importance of empowering the MSE owners with knowledge of market segmentation that would facilitate the production of furniture items that are determined by consumer demand.
Key words: segmentation, micro and small business, growth