Bridging the Relevance Gap between Thematic Trends and Industry Relevance of Master of Business Administration Projects: The Double Helix of University – Industry Relation

Editors: 

Kennedy Ogollah, John Githii Kimani

ABSTRACT

Management research has been accused of a lack of relevance to managerial practice and of too narrow a discipline base. Its focus is the nature of knowledge created by research at the interface between business and academia in the context of major changes likely to affect the nature of demand for such knowledge. To this extend most business schools have developed research as a foundation of the MBA programmes that they offer. A significant aspect of an MBA which distinguishes it from its competitors is the content of its programme – the nature of its curriculum and how it meets the needs of business life. The main objective of this paper was to present the results of an empirical study which establishes the thematic trends and industry relevance of MBA projects in the school of business at the University of Nairobi. The study used secondary data which was collected from the report books at the University of Nairobi. Data was analyzed using content analysis and time series. Cohorts of 10 years were employed, with a total of 7,100 projects undertaken between 1974 and 2013.  The report examines the conditions giving rise to this criticism in Kenya and identifies an important strategic need to increase the stake holding of users in various aspects of the research, knowledge creation and dissemination process. Results from the study indicated that there was a positive trend in thematic research with social, economic and political aspects that impact on business management. This implies that a rise in the focus on a certain thematic trend was associated with a rise in another theme. This further implies an overall growth in the study of the various thematic areas. The report concludes with recommendations concerning new forms of research partnership and research training that will address the relevant gap. However, bridging this gap does not only require changes in the academic mind-set. Managers and firms too need to rethink their involvement in the research process.

Keywords: Management Research, MBA, Thematic trends, Industry relevance

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Risk Management Strategies, Innovation and Business Ethics on Firm Performance

Editors: 

Midikira, Churchill Kibisu

ABSTRACT

The success of any organization depends solely on how that organization manages its risks. This may be achieved through many avenues such as efficient management and adequate decisions in resource allocation, clearly defined risk management objectives both pre-loss and post-loss objectives. Whereas some organizations may not consider profitability as their main objective, yet they must generate sufficient resources from business operations in order to achieve their objective of service delivery and maximization of profits. They must, therefore continuously identify risks, mitigate them in order to achieve a competitive advantage over similar organizations. Strategic decisions are likely to be complex in nature and the complexity is a defining feature of strategy  and strategic decisions; Strategic decisions may have to be made in situations of uncertainty; Strategic decisions are likely to demand integrated approach in managing organizations; The organization may have to manage and perhaps change relationships and networks outside the organization; Strategic decisions will very often change in organizations which may prove difficult because of culture. It is in this light that business organizations take their strategic decisions. Porter has alluded to strategy being basically addressing competitiveness. In this regard, businesses are likely to compete for resources which will impact on their performances. These strategies will be supported by the organizations’ ability to be creative and innovate new approaches of doing business and exhibiting high standards of ethical behaviour.  Understanding of competencies and cultural underpinnings of business is expected to have a far reaching influence on the risk management and strategies to be adopted in order to effectively compete in the market place. The implication of this study on business is that appropriate risk management strategies, effective innovation and ethical behaviour may influence policy formulation that will guide business organizations to improved performance

Key words: Risk Management Strategies; Innovation; Ethics; profit maximization and Performance

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Factors that Influence the Retention of Rural Health Workers in Siaya County, Kenya

Editors: 

Florence Muindi, Caroline Awour Odandi

ABSTRACT

In order to survive, organizations need a pool of excellent, talented and productive human capital to work in organizations. Retaining good employees have become the chief concerns of nearly every company in every industry.  The objective of the study was to investigate the factors that influence retention of rural health workers in hospitals in Kenya. The study used descriptive research design. The population comprised of all the medical staff working in hospitals in the one of the Counties in Kenya. The study used stratified sampling to ensure all segment of population were represented.. The study used primary data that was collected through self-administered questionnaires. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found out that training and development, and career development opportunities are adequate and positively influence retention in the hospitals. Training and development was being used by the hospitals to retain its health workers through proper orientation, releasing employees to attend training and monitoring training and development plans for all employees.  Career development in the hospitals gives the health workers opportunities grow in their careers and achieve career goals.. Compensation does not help in retention of health workers as they were not adequately compensated. This de-motivates the health workers as the rewards offered to employees were not commensurate with market offers in larger towns and therefore they are constantly looking for a new job that will remunerate them according to their work. The management style adopted by the hospital leadership did not encourage retention of staff.  This is especially in terms of fairness, appreciation because of lack involvement in decision making.  The rural environment does not help in retention either.  The nature of work has little room for flexibility in scheduling and that the workload is high due to low staffing levels.

Key words: Employee retention, factors influencing retention 

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Determinants of Tax Revenue in Tanzania (1997-2014)

Editors: 

Kamugisha Alfred Rwechungura

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to investigate the determinants of tax revenue in Tanzania. The study employed only secondary data which covered the period of 18 years (1997/98-2014/15).Currently, Tanzanian total tax revenues collected under TRA’s three department namely, domestic revenue (direct tax and VAT), Customs and Excise, and Large taxpayers department. Therefore, the total of four regressions analysis were run; three to investigate the determinants of tax revenue collected under each department and one for the determinants of total tax revenue. The total of ten variables which are GDP, inflation, agriculture, industry, service, manufacturing, FDI inflows, trade openness, urbanization, and official exchange rate were used as independent variables. The variable which stood as a dependent variable is the ratio of tax revenue to GDP. Data used were collected from the World Bank’s and TRA’s website. Data were analyzed using SPSS software and multiple regression models were used to estimate the relationships which exist between dependent and independent variables. The findings leveled that, two variables which are urbanization, and service are positive statistically significant influencing domestic revenue, revenue collected from large taxpayers, and total tax revenue. The findings also show that, urbanization is positive statistically significant influencing custom and excise revenue while official exchange rate is negative statistically significant influencing the same. Other variables which are GDP, inflation, agriculture, industry, manufacturing, FDI inflows, and trade openness were found to be statistically insignificant influencing tax revenue. This study provides new additional information about the determinants of tax revenue in Tanzania which can be very useful to policy makers in the future.

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

The Green Supply Chain Management Practices and Performance of ISO Certified Firms

Editors: 

Zachary B. Awino, Odock Stephen, Dr. Muranga Njihia, Dr. W.N.  Iraki

ABSTRACT

Increasing levels of environmental degradation by manufacturing firms has resulted in heterogeneous pressures from various organizational groups on the need for them to conduct environmentally friendly operations. A viable option for these firms has been the implementation of green supply chain practices. The key concern however is whether the implementation of these practices actually lead to improved performance. The main objective of this study therefore was to examine the relationship between the implementation of GSCM practices and performance of ISO 14001 certified firms in East Africa. Specifically, the study investigated the key institutional pressures that cause firms to implement these practices and how environmental performance, operational performance, relational efficiency and firm characteristics influence the relationship between implementing the practices and organizational performance. Through the use of positivist research paradigm and descriptive cross-sectional research design, primary data was collected from persons in charge of environmental issues in ISO 14001 manufacturing firms in East Africa. The study achieved a response rate of 62%. The study findings are that, first, coercive and normative pressures are significant in causing the firms to implement GSCM practices, mimetic pressures are not significant; second, there is a statistically significant positive direct relationship between implementation of GSCM practices and organizational performance; It was also noted that the inclusion of environmental and operational performance constructs increased the variance explained in organizational performance from 14.2% to 59%; fourth, relational efficiency does not mediate the relationships between GSCM practices and environmental performance, GSCM practices and operational performance and GSCM practices and organizational performance. The study therefore confirms existence of a positive link between GSCM practices and organizational performance thus helping to reduce the uncertainty which has arisen out of contradictory findings from past studies on whether it is beneficial to pursue these practices. In essence, it can be concluded that a firm will experience improved marketing and financial performance as a result of GSCM activities having a positive impact on its operations or are giving positive environmental impression to its customers who would eventually provide more business opportunities to the firm. The results support the natural resource based view that GSCM practices affords the firm an opportunity for competitive advantage and performance improvement through unique causally ambiguous and socially complex resources. The study recommends that manufacturing firms should implement environmentally sound practices in all phases of the supply chain, beginning with procurement of raw materials through to design, manufacture, packaging, distribution and end of life disposal of their products. Regulators can use the findings to scale up the level of implementation of GSCM practices by enforcing stricter environmental legislation and giving incentives to firms that have already implemented these practices. The findings also provide future researchers’ with a useful conceptual and methodological reference to pursue further studies in this under-studied GSCM area especially in the African context.

Key Words: Green Supply Chain, Management Practices, Organizational Performance, ISO Certified Firms, East Africa

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Nature of Fraud and its Effects in the Medical Insurance Sector in Kenya

Editors: 

Caren B Angima, Mbala A. Omondi

ABSTRACT

 Insurance fraud is a major challenge facing the insurance industry both in the developing and developed world. This vice has no doubt existed wherever insurance policies are underwritten and takes different forms depending on the economic time and coverages available. However, the validity of this claim has hardly been established empirically in Kenya. It is important that the insurance players in Kenya understand the nature and effects of insurance fraud and at the same time come up with strategies to counter the same. In this regard, the study objective was to investigate the nature of fraud and its effects in the medical insurance sector in Kenya and also establish possible solutions in countering the vice. The study adopted a descriptive research design where each of the twenty eight registered medical Insurance providers and twenty Insurance companies underwriting medical insurance in Kenya formed the sample frame of forty eight firms. A questionnaire was the main research instrument in which one questionnaire was dropped and later collected from the firms. The study findings revealed that majority of the firms sampled had experienced different levels of fraud in the recent past with the fraud form ranging from overstated medical bills, concealment of medical history of the patient, fraudulent identity / impersonation, document theft fraud as well as perpetration of the insurance premium fraud. The level of fraud was found to depend on the existence and extent of automation that the firms had adopted. The effects of fraud lead to increase in the cost of medical insurance and tarnishing the image of the insurance industry. The study identified different solutions to manage the level of fraud including subjecting medical bills to extensive audit to determine their validity as well as automation of the processes, making it mandatory for clients to produce their smart-cards in any medical facility before receiving services, and also maintaining a database of all insureds within the organizations’ network. Other strategies include restriction of unauthorized employees in accessing client information, educating the staff to uphold ethical practices and offering a better remuneration and friendlier work environment to them. This study contributes to a partial understanding of the reasons for medical covers being expensive and the negative image of the insurance industry.

Key words: Insurance Fraud; Medical Insurance Sector; Insurance Image

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Influence of Organisational Structure on Implementation of Electronic Project Monitoring Information System In Public Tertiary Institutions in Kenya

Editors: 

Angeline Mulwa, Dorothy Kyalo, Kirema Mburugu

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to explore the influence of organisational structure on implementation of electronic project monitoring information system (e-ProMIS) in public tertiary institutions. It is based on literature review and filed research by employing cross-sectional survey research design. Questionnaire was used to collect data from 30 tertiary institutions and a sample size of 162 members of staff selected through stratified random sampling technique. Null hypothesis was tested using regression analysisat 0.05 confidence interval. The results indicate that all the three types of structure: formalization; complexity; and centralization were statistically significant with coefficients (β=0.238, t=3.167, p=0.002<0.05), (β=0.204, t=2.777, p=0.006<0.05) and (β=0.317, t=4.574, p=0.000<0.05) respectively. Specifically one unit change in implementation of e-ProMIS was associated with 23.8% changes in formalization structure, 20.4% changes in complexity structure and 31.7% change in centralization structure. The overall F statistics was (3,158) = 23.760 at level of significance p = 0.000<0.05 suggesting that there was a statistically significant relationship between organisational structure and implementation of electronic project monitoring information system in public tertiary institutions in Kenya.

 

Key words: Organisational structure, Implementation, Electronic project monitoring information system, Tertiary Institutions.

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Factors Influencing The Choice Of Maize Flour Brands By Consumers In Nairobi, Kenya

Editors: 

Justus Munyoki, Lilian Karanja

ABSTRACT

Consumer behaviour is the focus on the processes a consumer uses to make purchase decisions, as well as to use and dispose of purchased goods or services. Understanding consumer behaviour is one of the largest challenges a business can face. The maize milling sector in Kenya is very competitive, mainly because of its low entry barriers leading to price as the only competing factor. With turnover and earnings driven primarily by market share and capacity utilization, the major determinant of success among its players is organic growth and cost leadership. The success of each individual company is dependent on its ability to gain market share and this has made the industry players to go through various lengths to increase capacity and to manage their costs. This study sought to determine the factors that influence the choice of maize flour brands by consumers in Nairobi, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research method. The population of the study comprised of 80 retail customers receiving services in four selected supermarket in Nairobi.. The selected supermarkets were, Nakumatt, Uchumi, Tuskys and Naivas. The study used questionnaires, which were given to customers buying flour in the supermarkets to fill. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics whereby frequencies and percentages, generated from the various data categories were computed and presented in graphs, pie charts, and tables. The study found  that various factors such as price, perceived quality, the level of income, and the social cultural aspects influence the choice of maize flour brands by consumers in Nairobi. Thus, this study recommends that disparities resulting from the difference in their purchasing power should be utilized properly by the maize millers by producing brands that suit different classes in the society.

Key words: consumer behaviour, Perceived Quality, brand image

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Branding Practices for Fresh Fruits and Vegetable and the Performance of Commercial Framers in Kiambu County, Kenya

Editors: 

Justus Munyoki, Isaac Nkari

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to establish the influence of branding practices of fresh fruits and vegetables on performance of commercial farmers in Kiambu County. The population of study consisted of 213 commercial farmers of FFV in Kiambu County. The study adopted stratified random sampling in which 140 farmers were sampled from the seven sub-counties in Kiambu County. The study adopted a descriptive cross sectional survey design. Data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire and analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established a statistically significant relationship between branding practices and performance of commercial farmers. It was observed that majority of the farmers had not fully adopted branding practices and therefore didn’t benefit from branding. The study was limited by focusing on few constructs within the variables; relying on self reported data with no collaborative evidence and gathering cross sectional data on branding practices that take time to yield results. The study recommends that farmers should engage in branding practices for their fresh produce to improve performance. The government should encourage branding of fresh fruits and vegetables as a means of adding value to the products by putting in place the requisite infrastructure and legislation. Future studies should target other fresh agricultural products; increase the variables and constructs being investigated and target other counties with differing social economic and climatic conditions. A study designed with farmer characteristics as the independent variable and branding practices as dependent variable would add new dimensions to observed interactions and unveil extra relationships. A study adopting time series design would demonstrate the effect of branding practices throughout the life cycle of the product and increase objectivity in the collected data.

Key words: Branding Practices, Commercial Farmers, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Performance of Commercial Farmers.

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually

Knowledge Transfer and Organizational Performance of Companies Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange

Editors: 

Joan Lilian Ogendo

ABSTRACT

The study examines the effect of knowledge transfer on organizational performance. Knowledge transfer is represented by the constructs of socialization, internalization, externalization and combination. Using a structural questionnaire, data on the study variables were obtained from 36 companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study findings reveal that knowledge transfer has significant effect on organizational performance. A theoretical implication of the study illustrates the contradiction by some organizations on the knowledge based theory of the firm regarding the existence of common knowledge for operation. Methodological implication shows the operationalization of knowledge transfer as independent variable and organizational performance as dependent variable. The researchers recommend future research on knowledge retention and other concepts of knowledge management using longitudinal and case studies.

Key Words: Knowledge Transfer, Organizational Performance

Frequency of Publication: 
Annually
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