Influence of strategy implementation on the performance of agribusiness firms in Nyanza region, Kenya
Echessa, Priscah Werimo
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Agricultural value chain development programs must result in lasting change in order to be deemed effective. The programs initiated either by public or private organizations may meet their objectives while in operation by improving agricultural development in terms of increased crop or animal productivity, improved competitiveness, performance of agri-food chains and poverty reduction. However, sustainability of these development initiatives for impact over time has been a challenge especially by agribusiness firms mandated to continue the sustainability strategies once the previous external resources are withdrawn. Strategy implementation is a critical element of strategic management in an organization. It is the transformation of plans into actions that translate into achievement of an organization’s goals. Despite this critical role, implementation of strategy is a major challenge in many management teams, which has led to high rates of failure in attainment of strategic plans. It is not clear whether the firm elements that affect implementation of strategy and performance rank differently in the agricultural sector. The study aimed at establishing the influence of strategy implementation on the performance of agribusiness firms in Nyanza region, Kenya. Specifically, the study objectives intended to establish whether strategic consensus, firm structure and firm resource allocation influenced the agribusiness firm performance in Kenya. The study was anchored on the Higgins 8-S framework, which states that for successful strategy implementation, key internal firm elements must be aligned so as to accomplish the desired strategic outcomes. The study relied on descriptive research design. The unit of analysis was 100 business managers and business unit managers of agribusiness firms drawn from donor funded agribusiness firms. The study employed purposive sampling in the selection of the business managers and the business unit managers as the people responsible for strategy implementation in order to provide relevant data. The study obtained a response rate of 65%. The study relied on primary data which was collected by use of questionnaires. Data analysis of the collected data was performed with descriptive and inferential statistics and the results presented in tables. Based on the study variables, the results indicated that resource allocation presented a positive significant effect on firm performance than strategic consensus and firm structure which both had a negative effect on firm performance. The study suggested that agribusiness firms require to foster strategic consensus throughout the firm by engagement of personnel in the strategic formulation and have proactive leadership for control and coordination of tasks to support implementation of strategy. Furthermore, firms need to adequately allocate financial resources to tasks directed towards strategy implementation for enhanced firm performance.