Anne Christine Kabui, Zachary B. Awino
According to Pearce and Robinson (1991) strategic responses are the set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a firm’s objectives. It is thus a reaction to what is happening in the organization’s environment and further stated that strategic responses are part of competitive strategies that organizations develop in defining their goals and policies. The external environment is the set of variables as in the PEST analysis that is political, economic, social and technological. The social dimension captures how consumers in households and/or communities behave and their beliefs. For instance, change in attitude towards formal education, or greater numbers of people seeking formal job placements in a population. In particular, businesses are influenced by consumer attitude and behavior which depend on such factors as age, structure of population and nature of job and leisure, which are in turn influenced by available disposable income and upcoming needs in the wider system, continued positive attitude and acceptability towards formal education and formal jobs. These are characterized by growing competition and available opportunities in the job market, changing life styles from rural and farming to urban and formal jobs. Another key factor is the HIV and Aids pandemic that has left behind many orphans who need help to make a livelihood. This calls for a strategic response to all these social changes. The research design that was used was cross sectional survey in which a statistically significant sample of a population is used to estimate the relationship between an outcome of interest and population variables as they exist at one particular time. The sampling technique was stratified samples, with geographical divisions forming the strata. The sample consisted of 20% of all secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Nairobi. This was a total of 19 schools, 5 in Nairobi, 7 in Kiambu, and 7 in Thika/Gatundu. The data type that the research collected was qualitative data from the category questions that sought to get the respondents response to questions on the variables. The research also had quantitative data in terms of numbers which were answers to variables like number of intake, increase in numbers in formal education, costs, and increase in enrollment of other religions in the schools. The questionnaire were administered to the principal/ Head Teacher; the deputy head teacher; one member of the teaching staff and the head of the guidance and counseling department. The objective of this study was to determine the strategic response to social changes by Catholic secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Nairobi over the last ten years. From the findings, yes the Catholic secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Nairobi have responded to the social changes in the environment in a strategic manner. They have continuously expanded to accommodate more students; new schools have also been built to cater for growing numbers seeking formal education. The schools have also made the performance in the standard eight national exams the main focus when admitting students which gives more opportunity to all who qualify. The schools have also been admitting students regardless of religion or family income and supporting them uniformly. The guidance and counseling, religious formation in school and HIV programs have been implemented to enhance an all-round development of the young student. Majority of the schools have orphans or even HIV infected students they are supporting since this is a reality affecting all organization with these institutions of learning not exempted.
Key words: Strategic response, Social change, Catholic, Secondary schools, Archdiocese, Nairobi, Kenya