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Organisations the world over are faced with an operational environment that is under constant turbulence caused by a number of factors like technological advancements, inadequate resources, increased consumer awareness, changing customer tastes, economic liberalisation as well as globalisation. Such dynamics have made managers in the 21st century to be in a constant search for guidance through strategic management practices regarding the overall direction and operations of their firms through developing business strategies that make them cost-effective, adaptive, responsive to changes and offer them directions lest they are swept out of business by stiff competition. According to Pearce, Robinson & Mital (2009), firms that adopt these practices enjoy accrued behavioural benefits to the firm, including low resistance to change, improved understanding, reduced overlaps and gaps, better decisions as well as enhancing the firm's ability to prevent problems. Thus, strategic management thought, processes and tools have become popular and taken center-stage in the management circles.
A strategy offers direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competencies with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations (Johnson, Scholes & Whittington, 2009). It is essentially a top management plan to gain competitive advantage (Wright et al, 1998) through integration of goals, policies and operation activities chain of an organisation as a whole (Zaribaf & Hamid, 2009). Whereas firms spend alot of resources and time in formulation of strategies, implementation has been described as the most difficult phase of strategic management process. Various factors inside and outside the organisation have been shown to influence the outcome of the implementation process. An effective manager therefore needs to appreciate such factors early in the firm's plans and develop flexible mitigating measures in good time to avoid or reduce failure of a good strategy due to poor execution as well as probe strategy in time.
In 2008, the Kenyan government introduced Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) as a strategy to increase access, lower household costs on education as well as improve quality education in secondary schools. All public secondary schools inluding those in Ugenya district implemented this policy which has led to an increase in enrolment of students that is likely to make the principals as school managers face various challenges in relation to physical facility use, human resource requirements, financial, curicullum and the overall quality of education in the secondary education sector. These challenges therefore need to be investigated and addressed in time to ensure success of implementation of the government's FDSE strategy.
1.1.1 Strategy Implementation
A wonderful strategy on paper has no value to any organisation, it is only when implemented that it gains currency. Strategy implementation as an administrative undertaking, involves activities done internally in the firm for the strategies designed to achieve the set targets within a given time-frame (Pearce et al, 2009). It entails manipulating the pattern of interactions that an organisation has with its environment in order to achieve its mission (EBS, 2008). According to Musyoka (2011), major events including resource mobilization, restructuring, cultural changes, technological changes, process changes, policy and leadership changes are witnessed. Continuous measurement of the performance of these change elements necessitates the generation of feedback from the operations level for corrective adjustments.
Strategy implementation, according to Nedelea and Paun (2009) is a product of incremental improvements, internal tuning, the pooling effect of many administrative decisions and gradual adjustments in the actions and behaviour of both management and subordinates. Zaribaf and Hamid (2009) advise that managers need to think about implementing when planning so that implementation should not cause a sense of trouble in future. It is critical that simultaneous review of formulation and implementation be done to improve strategy success with progressive changes.
Waterman et al (1980) in their Mckinsey's 7S model offer that an organisation requires the interaction and interdependence of strategy, structure, systems, skills, staff, style and shared values which need to be aligned and be mutuallly reinforcing to enhance performance since a change in one element affects other elements. Further, Musyoka (2011) asserts that implementation goes hand in hand with organisational change and the resultant organisational reconfiguration offers a recipe for some challenges. The failure to gain a proper fit and alignment of these various entities in the organisation's environment to the new strategy therefore form a basis for mismatch between strategy formulated and the results of implementation. Extra keenness and meticulous prior planning for implementation is required since these internal re-arrangements, additional resource demands and unanticipated external factors hold a crucial key to detemine implementation success or failure.
1.1.2 Secondary School Education in Kenya
In post-independence Kenya, secondary school education was streamlined when in 1964 the government introduced the 7-4-2-3 education system that offered four years of lower secondary and a specialised two years in upper secondary. It offered students learning geared towards development and employment and also to correct the racial segregation entrenched in education by the various commisssions like Frazer's of 1909, Phelps-Stokes's of 1912-1925, Beecher's of 1949 and Binns's of 1952 (Ojiambo, 2009; Wosyanju, 2010) in the colonial times. The 7-4-2-3 however, was accused by the Gachathi Commission of 1975 of being more academic and exam-oriented, narrow, promoting rote learning and producing graduates lacking requisite vocational training for development and employment (Makori, 2005). Ojiambo (2009) notes that although enrolment rose over the years, it was not directly accompanied with economic growth. A change in the education system became inevitable.
The current 8-4-4 education system was introduced in 1985 as a consequence of the Mackay Report of 1981 (Oyugi, 2010) where secondary school education lasts for four years and caters for those in the 14-17 years age band (Oyugi, 2010). The syllabus aims at equipping students with practical knowledge and skills critical for self- and paid employment and nation-building. Subjects are clustered into communication, mathematics, sciences, technical and physical education (Maoulidi, 2008). In the final year, pupils sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in seven to nine subjects with English, Kiswahili and Mathematics as compulsory (Wosyanju, 2010). There are 1.77 million pupils currently enrolled in 6,051 public secondary schools (MoE, 2012) with 47,584 teachers (World Bank, 2008) supplied by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). Teacher supply is inadequate and untrained staff are employed raising concerns about quality of education offered. There are current initiatives to put teachers under performance contracts to increase efficiency but resistance from teachers' unions has stalled it. The schools exist as either district, county or national depending on their catchment and the best pupils in the KCPE examinations are admitted in the later schools which have better infrastructure and post impresive performance in KCSE examinations, a clear case of segregation since admission of pupils with low marks, poor infrastructure and KCSE performance is highly manifest in the district level schools.
Each public school is managed by a Board of Governors (BOG) by use of guidelines from the Ministry of Education to create direct link between the schools and the ministry through monitoring performance, resource mobilisation and paying non-teaching staff (Maoulidi, 2008). The Parents Teachers Association (PTA) also monitors performance, raises funds to supplement school budgets and participates in decision making regarding the use of funds (World Bank, 2008). The principal as an appointee of TSC acts as executive officer and runs the school on a daily basis with the help of support staff and teachers working in various administrative positions as deputy principals, heads of department and class-teachers.
Changing local and global economic trends, need for skilled workforce, strengthened Free Primary Education (FPE) and expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) are forces that drive transformation of this education sector. As a result, a number of challenges in areas of financing, transistion rates, gender disparity, unemployment rates, infrastructure, student discipline and adequacy of teachers are noticed. The resulting inadequacies in public schools make some parents to take their children to private schools which offer British and American education system. It is therefore clear that this sector requires more focus on its relevance, applicability and adaptability to global trends rather than just mere changes in its structure, a realisation that the government is in a dilemma on how best to address.
To address challenges faced, various government initiatives like encouraging creation of private schools and community-based 'harambee' school models, incorporation of ICT in the syllabus, curicullum mini-reviews, financing of model schools in each constituency, increasing number of colleges and universities, introduction of bursaries to the needy bright students and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as well as development of gender policies have been undertaken. There are also current attempts at restructuring education system to 2-6-6-3 and align it to Kenya's Vision 2030 (MoE, 2012). However, a more impactive, bold and major policy shift to ensure affordability and increased access to secondary education is the introduction of Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) in 2008 by the government.
1.1.3 The Free Day Secondary Education Strategy
Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) started in 2008 (Asayo, 2009) as a government strategy to address illiteracy, low quality education, low completion rates at the secondary level, high cost and poor community participation in education. It was implemented after the taskforce on 'Affordable Secondary Education' of 2007 examined ways and means of reducing the cost of secondary education on households and recommended FDSE where a Kshs.10,265 government subsidy per student per year is released to public secondary schools to cater for instructional materials and learning support services (MoE, 2012). Parents are expected to meet other costs like lunch, uniform, transport and boarding fees for those in boarding schools, besides development projects. To benefit, a school needs to be registered, have a government principal and operate a tuition and operations accounts in reputable banks.
The FDSE strategy arose as a consequence of meeting the government's 2007 pledge of achieving Education for All (EFA) and the Children Act that advocates for provision of basic education as a right of the child (MoE, 2011). A major hinderance to accessing secondary education was found to be its high cost attributed to poverty, high cost of instructional material, school uniforms, private tuition, development levies and transport. In 2004 this cost stood at Kshs. 22,381 per pupil per year and was the major cause of over 70.5% of secondary school age children not enrolled by 2004 (Onsomu et al, 2006). Also, the projected 70% transition rate of pupils by 2008 (Asayo, 2009) due to FPE implied that secondary school enrolment was also to rise exponentially and reach 2.7 million by 2015 (Onsomu et al, 2006). In such circumstances, FDSE became inevitable.
The rise in enrolment of pupils from 1,334,566 in 2008 to 1,772,482 in 2011 (MoE, 2011) has been heralded as one big achievement of FDSE. Other major achievements including: the increase in number of schools from 4,763 in 2008 to 6,051 in 2011, disbursement of funds from Kshs. 12.5 billion in 2008 to 17.5 billion in 2011, pupil-book ratio of 1:2 and 1:1, personal emoluments, improved school environment and participation in co-curricular activities (MoE, 2012) have been realised. The rise in enrolment has greater implication on infrastructure and human resource requirements. There are arguements that the number of classes are still fewer and pupils are likely to be congested in the fewer classes leading to compromised quality of education.
The stakeholders in this education sector are faced with a myriad of challenges. Most parents assume that FDSE is free and this is likely to affect their meeeting the other education costs. Principals feel the FDSE funds delay and is inadequate thereby affecting the school budgets (Chabari, 2010). High inflation and food prices, fewer classrooms, and low teacher motivation may too lead to low education quality and performance (Asayo, 2009; Oketch & Rolleston, 2007). The abnormal rise of private secondary schools from 732 in 2006 to 2,876 by 2007 (Oyugi, 201) could be indicative of the private sector wanting to cash in on probable weaknesses in FDSE. The proposed measures in the government's KESSP's 2005 to 2010 plan to stem some of the challenges are yet to take root in the schools. Deeper understanding of these challenges as well as how they impact on the management of schools need to be continously studied and assessed in various parts of the country.
1.1.4 Public Secondary Schools in Ugenya District
Ugenya district is one of the six districts within Siaya, a county that lies between latitude 0° 26' to 0° 18' North and longitude 33° 58' East and 34° 33' West. It covers the previously named Ukwala division and has 22 public secondary schools, 3 of which are exclusively same-sex boarding, 3 are mixed day boarding and the rest are mixed day schools. Only 2 schools are categorised as county schools, the rest are district schools that draw most of their pupils from the surrounding local communities. The current enrolment stands at 5,746 with 3,355 boys and 2,411 girls compared to primary level where there are 17,381 boys and 17,397 girls. There is therefore a high gender disparity in secondary school enrolment, low participation at secondary schools and poor transition from primary level given that only 22 secondary schools serve 84 primary schools. Pupils are therefore forced to either drop out, repeat classes or enrol in schools in nearby districts. Education and Quality Assurance officers ensure proper implementation of education policies, curicullum as well as ensuring quality. Additionally there is the TSC human resource and audit units tasked with audit of the staffing and finances in schools.
In this district, most schools are of recent origin and started majorly through local community initiatives pegging their funding on the CDF kitty, FDSE, well-wishers and parents. This raises concern about their development and sustainability. In spite of the FDSE subsidy, high poverty levels have still led to low participation in secondary schools, high school fee default cases and drop-outs. During the rainy season, some schools suffer inaccessibility. Additionally, FDSE disbursement delays, high inflation and food prices as well as the low number of teachers and learning facilities with rising student enrolment pose a challenge to management of schools.
1.2 The Research Problem
Strategy implementation reveals the various competitive and functional tactics needed to translate business strategy into daily activities (Pearce et al, 2009) employees execute. It is always not an easy task and 70% of strategic plans are never successfully implemented (Sterling, 2003). Some researchers attribute this to lack of good communication channels, low employee commitment, reward system and inadequate resources. Others feel that the activities undertaken like restructuring,re-orientation of the firm's culture and leadership to support high achievement motives are enormous and lead to complexities. It is therefore a daunting task and requires alot of prudence, time and resources, given that its success leads to business success.
The Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) is a strategy used by the government since 2008 to enhance access, equity and retention in secondary schools including those in Ugenya district through a subsidy of Kshs. 10,265 per pupil per year (MoE, 2012) as parents meet the other costs of education. The resultant rise in enrolment of students and demand for secondary education in the district has called for rapid formation of new schools and expansion of old ones majorly through donors, government and community initiatives. Given that over 90% of schools in the district are relatively young, mixed sex, with underdeveloped infrastructure and operating in areas of marked poverty prevalence with fewer teachers, the schools are exposed to extreme of challenges that might affect proper FDSE implementation.
Studies on challenges to strategy implementation have focused more on private firms and parastatals than the general public sector. Case studies done; in Mumias Sugar Company by Bolo et al (2009), Jomo Kenyatta Foundation by Musyoka (2011), Equity Bank by Mwongeli (2011), Chemelil Sugar Company by Owelle (2011) and at BIDCO Oil Refineries by Omondi (2011) give findings not entirely generalizable in the public schools that operate in diverse environments. In the education sector, more research emphasis has been on challenges of implementating FPE than FDSE; Oketch and Somerset (2010), Bold et al (2010), Mosbei (2011) identify fewer classrooms, inadequacies in funding and teaching staff as major challenges in FPE. Ingubu and Kyalo (2011) assessed challenges of FDSE to physical facility use and ignored other areas like finance and human resources. Although Chabari (2010) studied FSE implementation in Kangundo district, his approach was pedagogical. Additionally, no study has been done on FDSE implementation in Ugenya district. What are the challenges of FDSE implementation in public secondary schools in Ugenya district?
1.3 Research Objectives
The objectives of this study will be:
To determine the challenges faced by public secondary schools in the implementation of the FDSE in Ugenya District.
To establish the interventions used to overcome the challenges faced in the implementation of FDSE in Ugenya district.
1.4 Value of the Study
Secondary school education need functioning structures, teachers, curicullum and policies to run it. It is hoped that this study will be useful in better understanding of the dynamics of execution of government strategies and generate better practices to improve management of schools and help the current and future school principals avoid use of personal experiences and traditional approaches in decision-making but rely on procedures based on researched findings and data.
Education officers and other stakeholders will find information on priority areas in instistutional management and areas in government strategy and policy implementation that might need adjustments.
This study will also help advance knowledge in research on implementation of strategies especially in public learning institutions that lack means to be self-reliant and rely on government support. Further research can be done on recommended areas and fill the gap of knowledge on strategic management practices in public sector.
The findings and recommendations of this study will help venture capitalists in decision making on whether to invest in private institutions in Ugenya district in order to capitalise on any short-comings exposed in FDSE implementation in public secondary schools.
This chapter presents review of literature related to the study. The chapter first presents literature on the concepts of strategy, strategic management and strategy implementation. Then literature on challenges facing strategy implementation and measures employed to overcome the challenges faced by organisations in the implementation of strategies designed is reviewed finally.
2.2 The Concept of Strategy
The term strategy originated from the Greek word Strategos which means general (Mantere, 2000) and has its root in the military tactics in Macedonian era (Zaribaf & Hamid, 2009) used in reference to plans and logistics of supplying men and ammunition to defeat an enemy. Such approaches were successfully used later in European wars before being used in the business arena (Yabs, 2007) to refer to top management's plan to develop and sustain competitive advantage (Wright et al, 1998). Such plans and competitive advantage created are assumed to be understood by all the employees. In this regard, strategy is limited to the top executives and may look foreign to employees in cases of communication breakdown.
Strategy is conceptualised by Mantere (2000) as a temporally coexistent totality of those explicit or implicit choices that are made to direct the organizational members' actions, aimed at successfully fulfilling the organization's mission in its environment. Pearce et al (2009) gives a futuristic perspective of strategy as a large scale and future-oriented plan for a firm to interact with its competitive environment and achieve its objectives. Strategy therefore, exists at all levels in the firm, is pervasive and create changes and actions that facilitate achievement of targets.
The scope, function, process and intent of strategy in a firm is essentially broad. In the 5P's model, Mintzberg (1987) views strategy as multi-faceted and grounded on the interelationship of plan, ploy, pattern, position and perspective. He examines strategy as a plan an organisation uses to deal with a situation and offer course of action, a ploy to manuever it in a given situation and a pattern of emerging actions forming a consistency of behaviour. It is also a position of the organisation in creating a fit with the environment as well as a perspective of how the employees view the organisation and its environment. Bill and Schneider (2007) best capture this central role of strategy in their assertion that it is the unique value proposition, the magnetic north and the decider for all decisions. Strategy is therefore the cog in the wheel of determining the organisation's plans, culture and creating fit with the environment.
Innovativeness is a critical strategic component, Silverman (2000) emphasises this when he asserts that organisations must be able to quickly create, deploy, and execute breakthrough strategies that help continually anticipate and meet current and future customer needs. Such flexibility concurs with Mintzberg's view of strategy emerging as a pattern in a stream of decisions and actions without formal planning. In this emergent view, strategy is not necessarily first created before implementing but emerges and evolves without the aid of its formulators or in spite of them (Musyoka, 2011). This view guards managers against the excesses of strategic planning which may stiffle creativity in generating new ideas to adapt the organisation to changes in the environment given that it is always done consciously and with timelines.
2.3 The Concept of Strategic Management
Strategic management as a modern business management practice has its foundations in 'strategic planning' that emanated from 'business policy' (Grant, 2007) discipline of 1950's. Nedelea & Paun (2009) task it with the definition of the firm's business, creating objectives, strategy formulation, implementation of the chosen strategy and evaluation of its performance to offer feedback for adjustments. According to Pearce et al (2009) model, strategic management is perceived not as a linear activity but a dynamic process and a set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a company's objectives. In The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker (1989) argues that whatever their magnitude or complexity, strategic decisions require more of finding the right question than the right answer. Strategic management therefore serves the hard task of ever questioning various evolving phenomena in the business environment, and these questions lead to generation of key decisions that counter the negative aspects of the phenomena.
Strategic management serves the overall purpose of formulation, execution and evaluation of the firm's plans to attain stated objectives. Yabs (2007) advises, that this does not only refer to the general plans of the firm, but includes the environment and its influence on the firm. Proper environmental scanning supply findings that act as ingredients for generation of objectives, mission and strategy choice that crystallises into a strategic plan which according to Gode (2011), aligns the firm's activities with its environment for continued survival and effectiveness. This plan ideally offers a pathway followed by the firm to realise its set objectives.
Johnson et al (2009) argue that strategy is developed by experimentation. To them, learning is achieved through partial commitments rather than through global formulations of total strategies. Mantere (2000) concurs by observing that the decisions are made in gradual steps taking into account the emergent factors of the strategy. In this regard, Pearce et al (2009) emphasise dynamism. These series of managerial decisions and activities, according to Zaribaf and Hamid (2009) assign long term performance of an organization. Therefore, as a process, strategic management is not entirely linear but needs to inteprete the enviroment and adapt through periodic evaluation to supply feedback used to reconfigure operations in an incremental process that builds on the lessons learnt to drive the organisation towards realisation of its set goals.
2.4 Strategy Implementation
Noble (1999) from a cultural angle, defines strategy implementation as the communication, interpretation, adoption and enactment of strategic plans. In this regard strategies are formulated to form a strategic plan whose content is communicated by management in a top-down linear manner, intepreted and adopted by employees then enacted into actions that give results. According to Sababu (2007), it is putting strategy into action through creation of action plans, goals, programmes, budgets, procedures, structures, cultures, motivation, leadership, communication, allocation of resources, working climate and support. Musyoka (2011) tasks implementation with working through others, organizing, motivating, culture building and creating strong links between strategy and how the firm operates for convertion of strategies into viable operations that will yield the firm's envisioned targets.
Implementation represents a change process which according to Silverman (2000) happens when there is occurence of dissatisfaction with the current state, a compeling vision that the change will create a better future and making initiatives to reach the vision. As a change process, it has to be systematic, requiring creation of partnership amongst the relevant stakeholders and enhanced communication (Beer and Eisenhat, 2000). Other scholars perceive it in the line of goal-setting and management by objectives practices. The resultant activities do however, have a wide scope, are intertwined and always change the operations of the firm. Consequently, implementation complexities arise due to its ambiquous and no-routine situations that according to Johnson et al, (2009) make strategic management have a greater mandate than any other area of operational management.
Various elements come into play during implementation. Although resources and supportive structure are critical, Bill and Schneider (2007) identify culture as the most powerful driver of a firm's success. To them, organisational effectiveness, is guaranteed when proper alignment of strategy, leadership and culture is achieved. The leadership approach employed should accurately interprete the goings on in the environment and take appropriate actions to exploit the opportunities created by uncertainties (Gode, 2011) and avoid strategic drift (Jonson et al, 2009). For Beer and Eisenstat (2000) organisations need to establish communication channel, starting with a good concept, providing resources, obtaining employee commitment and developing a plan to guide the implementation process.
Whereas all requirements might be available, an implementation plan and framework too need to be designed. Consequently, Waterman et al (1980) argue that the implementation success of an organisation requires not mere restructuring, but the use of a framework that align the structure and the firm's interdependent and mutually reinforcing related factors so as to create central shared values which represent the synergy the organisation achieves. Such a framework, according to Haddad (1995) offers a schedule for moving people, physical objects and funds and is drawn with a clarity and attention to detail that leaves no doubt as to who will do what, when and how, physical resourses availability, appropriate financial resources, personnel, technical knowledge and structured administrative system to guide as well as gain political support.
2.5 Challenges of Strategy Implementation
Strategy implementation requires a leadership that shakes the pillars of status quo of organisations and transform it into one with values that support high performance. In Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF), Musyoka (2011) established that top management positions are filled unprofessionally with political appointees and this affected performanace of the parastatal given that most of such appointees demeaned the role of the Board of directors. Failure in implementation arise from the egos of leaders (Makinde, 2005) and such appointees are likely to maintain the status quo, promote employees not based on merit and create avenues for corruption leading to low overall employee morale since discrimination will be at play. However, getting leaders with the right mix of personal qualities, professional training and aligning them to industry of their interest remains a bigger challenge to present-day organisations.
Resources define strength or weakness of a given firm. According to Wernefelt (1984), it includes brand names, in-house knowledge of technology, skills of employees, trade contacts, machinery, efficient procedures and capital. A resource is said to be valuable when it is scarce, sustainable, drives a portion of overall profits and critical in meeting customer needs than the alternative (Pearce et al, 2009). Firms need more resources for creation of demand and top-of-mind awareness of its brands (Omondi, 2011). Makinde (2005) offers that implementation bottlenecks arise when firms have inadequate resources meaning that services will not be provided and reasonable regulations will not be developed and enforced.
Speculand (2006) argues that implementing strategies translates to employees having to change the way they work or do more and their response may be supportive, indiffference or opposing such that at the onset, the management attempts to win support of over 80% of its personnel. Musyoka (2011) observes that low penetration of ICT at JKF is mainly due to resistance to change where employees still value paper-based operations. Flexible motivation packages, promotions and technology is usually demanded by employees, change in culture of the organisation into a performing one therefore becomes an expensive long-term goal not easily attained leading to strategy implementation bottlenecks.
Strategy implementors need appropriate, clear, accurate and consistent information. Sababu (2007) offers that information flow occurs in downward, upward and lateral dimensions. Problems arise when communication channels dont create feedback and corrective adjustments. At Chemelil Sugar Company, Owelle (2011) established that the strategic plan was only live to a mere 10% of the organisation workforce. A situation made worse by infrequent meeting of top manager with operational level employees. At BIDCO Oil Refineries, Omondi (2011) found out that electronic communication failed to reach employees since most lacked computers thus they felt that top management was non-responsive. Communication channels that ensure prompt reception of information, flow of instructions and feedbacks for corrective adjustments are therefore of necessity to managers for implementation success.
Incongruence of strategy with structure creates a big bottleneck to effective implementation. Owelle (2011) found out that in parastatals, bureaucratic practices affect proper functioning especially due to constant changes in top management. Musyoka (2011) established that the structure of JKF failed to facilitate clear delineation of responsibilities of senior managers leading to overlaps in duties, while key function of monitoring and evaluation are acking and much deployment of workforce to non-core roles. Any change in strategy therefore, needs to be followed with reconfiguration of organisation structure. This is a key tenet but is always disregarded. Makinde (2005) offers that this might be due to the choice of appropriate structure being complex and a formidable challenge to managers.
2.6 Interventions Used in Overcoming Implementation Challenges
Leadership is a key factor in guiding operational processes during implementation. Sababu (2007) asserts that the paramount factor in leadership is its effectiveness. Effective leadership according to Bolo et al (2009) involves restructuring organisational architecture in a manner that motivates employees with the relevant knowledge to initiate value-enhancing proposals. Mwangi (2009) established that better performing schools have leaders with higher sensitivity to student needs and problems than did those in lower performing schools. Having a leadership with less ego problems, encourages participatory system in the planning stage, motivates employees and supports innovations is a defining entity in strategy implementation. Gode (2011) advocates for employment of transformational rather than transactional leadership tenets to guide strategic change processes.
Strategy according to Zaribaf and Hamid (2009), should answer three questions before implementation; Who should implement the strategic plan? What should they do? And How should they do it? The answers to these questions lie in changing the way the firm is structured. Sababu (2007), confirms Alfred Chandler's assertion that 'structure follows strategy' by revealing that structure dictates how resources will be allocated, and how objectives, reporting procedures and other policies will be created. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) offers a pathway which according to Pearce et al (2009) involves radical re-thinking and redesigning of business process to create value to the customer by removing barriers between employees and customer. Whereas there are various organisation structures, proper analysis before choice of a structure to support the strategy and ensure its effective execution is done.
Implementation is primarily a function of all employees and their level of commitment therefore determine the outcome. According to Sababu (2007) whatever the nature or level of decision made, the decision will be regarded as effective if supported by the people who are to implement it. Proper redeployment of employees to sections and roles that match their capabilities and interest is crucial. Equally important is to develop a reward system that is transparent, recognises talent and achievements of individual employees therefore help bring out employee potential and motivate them to adopt systems of high performance.
Each firm needs a framework for analysis and identification of its strategic advantages based on examining its distinct combination of resources. This is important since not all resources are strategically relevant (Barney, 1991) and some may prevent a firm from executing a valuable strategy or reduce its effectiveness. To gain strategic significance, resources need to be in their right quantity, not easy to imitate, deployed in the correct time and used in the right manner to produce right quantities of goods for the market. Pearce et al (2009) argue that Resource-Based View (RBV) helps in analysing and identifying a firm's strategic advantages based on examining its distinct combination of costs, skills, assets and capabilities. Such a framework help identify areas in which it is profitable for the firm to invest in and offer competitive advantage.
Individual intervention practices are also instrumental in managing challenges of implementation. Out-sourcing of non-core activities like security, cleanliness free manager's time and resources that can be re-deployed as well increase efficiency. Partnerships too help synergise the firm's capabilities with each other. The use of ICT, regular auditing in the firm as well as prudent budgeting can help in managing financial resources just like performance management can help in managing the human resource. All in all, implementation requires piloting, a flexible pre-plan to guide it and evaluation frameworks, to assess progress and reveal the barriers early.
This chapter presents the procedures that will be followed in conducting the study. It explains the research design, target population, data collection instruments and process and finally the data analysis
3.2 Research design
The study will be carried through use of a descriptive survey research design which according to Oso and Onen (2008) is a present oriented approach that analyses and discovers occurences to provide explanation of events the way they are as well as supply numeric descriptions of the population. It involves complete enumeration of all items in the population such that no element of chance is left leading to high levels of accuracy (Kothari, 2004). This offers room for gathering alot of data that will be relevant in gaining a deeper understanding of the variables under investigation.
This study fits into the descriptive survey research design since the researcher will collect data and also report the way things are without manipulating the variables being investigated. It is economical and will offer opportunity for comprehensive and rapid data collection as well as creating room for gathering information on emergent ideas that can be helpful to offer ground for further meaningful probe.
The population of study will consist of all the principals of the 22 public secondary schools in Ugenya district in the year 2012 (Appendix III) from the records of the District Education Office, Ugenya District. With such a small targeted population, a census survey will be used in the capture of data to understand the variables of study. In this case, sampling is not preferred since it will result into incorrect values that will be non-representative of the population.
These schools in Ugenya district whose principals will be surveyed for challenges of implementing FDSE, offer a common 8-4-4 curricullum and are county or district level schools. The targeted schools are of varied categories, with some being boarding, pure day, day and boarding, mixed sex or single sex schools. Therefore, a mix of responses is expected.
3.3 Data Collection
The data collected will be quantitative and will be gathered by use of a semi-structured questionnaire administered by the researcher to the principals and deputy principals of public secondary schools in Ugenya district as respondents. It is a preferred tool for data gathering given that it will ensure anonymity, easy accumulation of data and present equal stimulus to large number of respondents.
According to Oso and Onen (2008), a questionnaire is a preferred instrument when the population is literate, large and time is limiting. The questionnaire (Appendix I) contains mostly close-ended questions aimed at generating quantitaive data from the respondents. It is divided into three parts to gather information on general school background, challenges faced in FDSE implementation and intervention measures used to overcome challenges faced. The data collection instrument will be delivered through drop-and-pick approach.
3.4 Data Analysis
The data collected will be quantitative and the responses will be checked for completeness and consistency then coded before analysis. The data will be collected at both nominal and ordinal levels and analysed by use of descriptive statistics which according to Mbwesa (2006) transforms large group of numbers into a more manageable form by deriving from the raw data certain indices that characterise and summarise the entire set of data. According to Oso and Onen (2008), descriptive analysis is usually desired when the researcher does not want to generalise beyond the study population.
In a nutshell, the data collected will be cleaned to identify and correct incomplete responses then coded before being entered into a computer spreadsheet for analysis. The frequency of occurence of the challenges and interventions will be tallied and in-depth analysis of the quantitative data will be done by use of various statistics like measures of central tendency and dispersion including means and percentages, and frequency counts as well. Bar charts, tables and pie charts will be used to display important items of the analysed data for purposes of emphasis, clarity and easy understanding.