SBS PhD Theses

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    Women’s preferences for place of delivery: a study of Embakasi-North and Naivasha Sub-County’s, Kenya
    (Strathmore University, 2020) Aridi, J. K. O.
    High maternal mortality continues to affect many sub-Saharan African countries. Kenya continues to have an unacceptable high maternal mortality ratio. Despite a rise in coverage for facility-based delivery following a free maternity services policy in 2013, there is little data on what women value when making their decision in choosing a place of delivery. There is uncertainty regarding factors that influence women’s choice of health facilities and women’s perceptions of quality of care. This study sought to examine women’s preferences and to rank attributes of the health system that drive women’s choices. The study compared the preferences of women in Embakasi North a peri-urban setting in Nairobi County with those in a rural Naivasha sub-County. It utilized a mixed methods study incorporating a qualitative study and a quantitative study approach; a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) for evaluating the factors that women value when selecting their place of delivery. In Naivasha, women ranked the highest attribute preference as the presence of a kind and supportive attitude of healthcare worker (β=1.184, p<0.001), whereas in Embakasi-North sub- County the women’s highest preference was for the attribute on cleanliness of the health facility, (β=1.488, p<0.001).This was followed by availability of medical equipment and drugs in both the Naivasha (β=1.073, p<0.001), and Embakasi-North (β=1.435, p<0.001). The attribute ranked third for Naivasha was the quality of clinical services during delivery (β=0.826, p<0.001) whereas in Embakasi-North it was the alternative specific constant (β=1.424, p<0.001). The coefficient for both the distance to the health facility and cost of delivery for Naivasha (β=0.457p<0.001) and (β=0.00002, p<0.001) respectively and Embakasi-North (β=0.339, p<0.001) and (β= p<0.0002) were positive and statistically significant at the 1 % level. These results indicate a preference for high costs and long distance which contradict economic theory that predicts that most rationale people would have a preference for low costs and short distances respectively. This implies that women were bypassing closer health facilities and seeking care at further off health facilities. The cost result implies that women were willing to pay higher costs for services that they perceive would be of higher quality. The study established that sociodemographic such as age, marital status, income status and education level all influence the ranking of attributes with the exception of cost and distance in Embakasi-North. These findings suggest that women value both structural and process indicators of quality of care. Patient-centered aspects of care matters to women. By paying attention to their preferences, policy makers can provide care that women want and value. To prevent bypass of closer health facilities and promote affordable care, policy makers should provide care that has the requisite medical equipment and respectful healthcare workers that are responsive to women’s needs. This will assist in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets for reducing preventable maternal mortality. Keywords: Women preferences, place of delivery, Kenya, Discrete Choice Experiment
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    An Assessment tool for ICT stakeholder integration and infrastructure performance improvement: case Kenya
    (Strathmore University, 2021) Ominde, D. K.
    The poor performance of infrastructural projects in the country has been partly attributed to the lack of an evaluation framework for these projects, especially in terms of the stakeholder management model, and need to look into how the projects can achieve their optimal success formed the research problem of the study. This was to be pursued through the development of an assessment tool for stakeholder integration and infrastructure performance improvement in the ICT sector. The specific objectives of the research study were to establish the complexity of project delivery and propose improvements to policy makers and senior project practitioners in the ICT sector in Kenya. Moreover, the study was keen to identify key stakeholder integration determinants that can be used by policy makers and senior project practitioners to enhance ICT infrastructure project planning in Kenya. Additionally, the study focused on identifying some of the key performance metrics that are specific, measurable and relevant to the achievement of stakeholder integration and ICT infrastructure planning in Kenya. In addition, the study was keen to assess how infrastructure policy makers and senior project practitioners can prioritise and ensure there is a holistic end-to-end commitment to realise the defined benefits of ICT infrastructure projects in Kenya. Finally, the research proposed an assessment tool that comprises stakeholder integration, project complexity and performance metric determinants, which can be used to enhance the delivery of ICT projects in Kenya. The study adopted mixed methods research design, specifically, exploratory sequential design to examine how ICT project practitioners and policy makers can improve ICT project delivery. A total of 500 participants formed a target sample for the quantitative method; 290 participants responded and 286 of the filled-in questionnaires were found to be useful for the analysis. For the qualitative method, 47 participants were interviewed, and the data was analysed through NVivo. The number of participants was considered adequate with regards to the context of the study and the realisation of the objectives, which aimed to propose an assessment tool for ICT project delivery in Kenya. Data analysis comprised descriptive statistics, a reliability test, a correlation test and principal component analysis. Validity and reliability were attained through the assessment of the plausibility of variables in relation to the existing knowledge on integration of stakeholders, project complexity and key performance metrics within the context of delivery of ICT projects. The assessment tool was verified through focus discussions with participants. Research rigour was achieved through verification and validation of the methodology coherence and data analysis. The findings of the study suggest that ICT performance be measured against the achievement of stakeholder integration and realisation of benefits. Commitment to project objectives, competence of key stakeholders, alignment of stakeholder skills, understanding of core project processes and addressing stakeholder needs and expectations were found to be key to stakeholder integration. Through theory elaboration, the study structured the sequence relations of project management and stakeholder management constructs that could be used to assess and optimise the delivery of ICT infrastructure projects. The findings gave the novelty of the research study to be viewed from two perspectives: ▪The research study findings intended to streamline the delivery of ICT projects in Kenya as a way of enhancing the performance of these projects. The development of an assessment tool for the evaluation of stakeholders delivering ICT projects in Kenya is likely to be an important step in addressing the missing link between theory and practice. ICT project practitioners now have an assessment tool on which they will be able to base their project delivery model as a way of enhancing the outcome of their project. ▪From a policy viewpoint, the research study findings are likely to form part of the appraisal models that the government apply in monitoring the progress of ICT stakeholder integration. As already noted, the final outcome of the research was the proposal of an assessment tool that can be used by infrastructure policy makers and senior project practitioners in Kenya to ensure a mind-set of accountability and a structured approach to ICT project planning and stakeholder integration. Keywords: Information communication technology (ICT), Key performance metrics, Stakeholder integration, Benefit realisation, Project complexity
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    Corporate governance and financial and non-financial performance of state-owned enterprises in Kenya
    (Strathmore University, 2022) Abang'a, A. O.
    State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have social and economic objectives whose achievement depends on good corporate governance. As a result, this thesis sought to determine the relationship between corporate governance and financial and non-financial performance of SOEs in Kenya. Multi-theoretical framework is adopted to understand the extent to which corporate governance (CG) provisions, such as board meetings, gender diversity, board skill, board sub-committees, board size, board independence, board chair age and combined corporate governance provisions (CCG) influence financial and non-financial performance of SOEs in Kenya. Explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach was applied in which secondary data was first obtained from the annual financial reports and analyzed using balanced panel data, fixed-effects regression. The result indicates that board meetings, board skill and board gender diversity are the only significant CG provisions in determining financial performance. The result also finds that board skill and CCG are the only CG provisions that determines SOEs non-financial performance. In the second phase, responses of questionnaire survey obtained from the audit committee chairpersons of SOEs in Kenya were analyzed using independent sample t-tests. The results revealed that board skill is the only significant variable that positively influence both financial and non-financial performance. Interviews to SOEs directors unearthed the politicization of board appointments in Kenya. Overall, the findings demonstrate that CG reforms have improved performance, however, some CG provisions require re-considerations in order to attain full potential. The findings of this study have theoretical, practical and policy implications. The results advocate for the multi-theoretical framework in studying the relationship between CG provisions and financial and non-financial performance. State Corporation Advisory Committee, the Office of the Auditor General and the National Treasury that are mandated to overseeing the operations of SOEs in Kenya are called upon to re-evaluate the governance of SOEs to improve their performance. Also, the academic community are encouraged to approach CG studies in SOEs using mix-method approach to gain better understanding of the complex relationships devoid in a single approach. The study makes six important contributions. First, the study contributes by confirming that individual provisions of CG that constitute CCG provision have different impact on performance; Second, study adds to relatively few available literature on CG in SOEs ; Third, the study responds to a call for more CG studies in a developing country context; Fourth, this study shows the link between CG provisions and financial and non-financial performance of SOEs in a single study; Fifth, through mixed-methods research approach, this study uncovered important governance challenges that may have not been possible in purely quantitative analysis. Finally, by showing that CG studies should be approached from multi-theoretical framework. This study is limited by the fact that equal weight in binary coding is used, focus was on disclosures in annual financial reports, impact of moderator and mediating variables were not examined, qualitative data inquiry involved limited number of interviewees and single framework of non-financial performance. Future research may consider assigning weight, consider other information sources like websites, establish the impact of moderator and mediating variables, study other developing countries over time, include more interviewees and use broader measure of non-financial performance.
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    Quality Corporate Risk Disclosure and determinants among listed non-financial firms in Kenya
    (Strathmore University, 2022) Mbithi, E. M.
    The recent occurrence of financial crisis and cases of corporate failure around the globe have heightened the demand for High-Quality Corporate Risk Disclosure (HQCRD). To meet this expectation, companies must demonstrate their stewardship to stakeholders by providing useful risk information. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised about the quality of Corporate Risk Disclosure (CRD) in developing countries. The study sought to identify factors explaining CRD behaviour in Kenya. The purpose is achieved by first establishing the meaning of the construct HQCRD to determine elements that constitute high-quality CRD. Secondly, it establishes the determinants of high-quality CRD to establish the applicability of multi-theoretical lens in explaining CRD behaviour, and, thirdly, exploring the moderating effect of the Kenya Companies Act of 2015 on the determinants of high-quality CRD. The study adopted a mixed-methods research design, specifically an explanatory sequential design. On one hand, quantitative analysis targeted listed non-financial firms in Kenya over the period 2008-2019 using panel data regression techniques. On the other hand, qualitative analysis targeted the preparers and users of the annual report through semi-structured interviews. The findings indicate that CRD quality is low and dispersed across the sampled firms in Kenya. This suggests that stakeholders seeking high-quality CRD in Kenya will not find annual reports sufficient to address their needs. The results of panel data regression indicate that firm size, leverage, firm growth, operating risk, board activity, board independence, foreign ownership and block ownership influence the quality of CRD (weighted measure). This confirms that CRD is complex as explained by a multiplicity of factors needed to achieve high quality. In addition, it confirms support for multi-theoretical lens proposed in the literature to study CRD in Kenya. These theories include agency theory, signalling theory, stakeholder theory, resource dependence theory, institutional theory and legitimacy theory. Furthermore, the results of qualitative analysis are mixed; some support quantitative results while others contradict them. Regarding the moderating role, implementation of the Kenya Companies Act of 2015 neutralised the effect of firm size and block ownership on CRD, whilst leverage, firm growth, operating risk, board independence and foreign ownership strengthened after the implementation. The study extends our understanding of CRD in several ways; first, by providing a common understanding of the meaning of CRD among stakeholders; secondly, by demonstrating the corporate determinants of CRD, particularly the moderating role of the Companies Act 2015, and thirdly, assessing the applicability of multi-theoretical lens in explaining CRD behaviour. The results will help policymakers and practitioners to understand the risk reporting needs of capital market participants, and potentially develop an informed mechanism to improve the quality of CRD. The study relied on extant literature and guidelines to develop the indices. However, the guidelines keep on changing as a result of considering other better ways of reporting. Thus, the results should be interpreted with caution because quality is dynamic. Future research should consider recent changes in guidelines and literature.
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    Income tax compliance behavior of large and medium-sized business taxpayers in Kenya
    (Strathmore University, 2019) Abdul, Farida
    The main objective of this study was to establish the drivers explaining tax compliance behaviour among medium and large business taxpayers in Kenya. In so doing the researcher tested the validity and adequacy of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Procedural Justice Theory (PJT) in explaining tax compliance behaviour. A Structural Equation Model was built using survey data on 142 respondents and covering 19 key sectors of the economy. The study specifically sought to examine the influence of measures of perceived behavioural control, subjective norms, procedural justice measures, and tax system attributes (fairness, complexity, compliance costs as well as international compatibility) on tax compliance behaviour, while controlling for the hypothesized influence of firm size, age, sector and legal structure. The results indicate that tax compliance behaviour in Kenya significantly increases with increased perceived behavioural control, but declines significantly with an increase in tax compliance costs. In addition, the only firm characteristic that significantly increases with tax compliance is firm size. The model constructs account for about 39 per cent of variations in tax compliance behaviour in Kenya, which is above the empirically accepted minimum for exploratory studies. From the results, the study recommends a focus by the tax authority and policymakers on measures to reduce tax compliance costs. The authority should concentrate on those costs that relate to understanding the existing complex tax laws, changes in tax rules, as well as general costs of meeting compliance and regulatory requirements. In addition, greater emphasis should be put on investing in opportunities that reduce financial pressure on firms and on reducing incidences of firms that operate outside the tax system. Further, the authority should reduce incidences of financial distress in firms through prudent macroeconomic management and general surveillance to ensure that firms face minimal opportunities that would encourage them to underreport income- such as incomes not reported by third parties. The significance of the perceived behavioural control measure indicates the relevance and applicability of the theory of planned behaviour to tax compliance behaviour in Kenya.