The influence of corporate culture on operational performance of multi-national companies in Kenya

Awino, Lavender Okore
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Strathmore University
The complexity and dynamism of the business environment has resulted in multinational companies heavily investing in building the right working environment for their employees. Multinational companies face a number of challenges, one of them being fostering cooperation among different actors in the organization while focusing on the company’s strategic goals and long-term objectives. The operational performance of multinational companies in Kenya has been declining since 2016 and some of them moved their operations to other regional hubs other than Nairobi. This study sought to establish how various cultural dimensions (market, adhocracy, bureaucratic and consensual) affect the operational performance of these multinational companies. The research study was anchored on Edgar Schein’s Model of Culture and the Contingency Theory. The study adopted a quantitative research design; specifically descriptive cross-sectional survey technique. The researcher administered structured questionnaires traditionally from a selected sample of 450 respondents. Data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and regression analysis. The results on the synergetic influence however showed that only adhocracy and bureaucratic culture had a significant positive influence on oper ational performance. Market culture and consensual culture had a positive influence that was not significant. This study contributes to theory by building on the prevailing theoretical frameworks such as the Edgar Schein model and boosting the understanding of the various dimensions of corporate culture and the possible influence that each culture trait could have on organizational outcomes. Empirically, the study guides management practices by diagnosing corporate traits as the first step to managing people effectively especially in instances where activities such as recruitment, on-boarding, performance management and innovation are being carried out by the organization. Regarding policy formulation, the study informs organizational policy development encompassing issues such as recruitment and selection, reward systems, compliance, customer engagement, performance appraisals and employee development. The findings of this study were limited to the classifications of the dimensions of corporate culture and operational performance adopted by the researcher. The study was also limited to data collected using cross-sectional sur vey, yet corporate culture may be affected by time, unprecedented occurrences and technological advancements that may warrant disruptions in the manner in which a business carries out its day to day activities. Lastly, the response rate was limited by the prevailing conditions of the COVID 19 pandemic. Future studies could address these limitations.
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Commerce at Strathmore University
Operational performance, COVID - 19 pandemic, Bureaucratic culture