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PRICING STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF AGRO-CHEMICAL FIRMS IN INDUSTRIAL AREA NAIROBI COUNTY, KENYA

Gacuiri Nelson King’ori - The School of Business, Department of Business Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Paul Waithaka, PhD - The School of Business, Department of Business Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Superior performance is accomplished by serving client needs in an unexpected way. The more one of a kind the separation the more manageable the points of interest gathered since separation should definitely include costs which are recovered if the market will pay the vital premium costs. The study aimed to investigate the competitive strategies on performance of agro-chemical firms in industrial area, Nairobi, Kenya.The study sought to examine and document various competitive strategies used by agrochemical firms in order to compete in the market place. The specific objectives were to investigate the effect of pricing strategy on to performance of agro-chemical firms in industrial area. The research design used was descriptive survey which is useful for fact finding. The study targeted 83 employees of Agrochemical firms and since the number of respondents were of manageable size the study used census. Questionnaires were utilized for gathering information which was dissected utilizing graphic and regression statistical tools and displayed utilizing tables. The data collection instrument was questionnaires. Graphs, tables and pie graphs was utilized to exhibit frequencies and percentage while tables were readied utilizing every factor or pointer. Out of the 83 questionnaires that were issued 72 of were dully filled and returned to the researcher. This gave a response rate of 87%. This response rate concurred with Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) stipulation that a response rate of 70% and above is excellent. From the findings the respondents strongly agreed that their company purchase low cost raw materials to gain advantage on prices. Majority of the respondents strongly agreed that their organization uses dynamic pricing strategy to gain competitive. The study findings recommended that Agro chemical firms should meet the delivery cost of their products to the clients as this is a good way of building customers loyalty. In light of the study findings it is also recommended that Agro chemical firms offer price discounts in order to be competitive in the market and improve their performance.


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PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS PRACTICES AND EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF SAVANNAH CEMENT LTD

Benardine Kithia Munguti - Management University of Africa, Kenya

David Kanyanjua - Management University of Africa, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Many organizations are struggling with the fact that many of their employees’ productivity is wanting and therefore these organizations are looking for measures that can aid in improving their employees productivity. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of performance appraisal practices on employee productivity at Savannah Cement Ltd. The specific objectives of the study were: To assess the effects of peer review on employee productivity at Savannah Cement Ltd and to establish the effects of 360 degrees appraisal method on employee productivity at Savannah Cement Ltd. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The population of interest for this study was three hundred and thirty two (332) employees of Savannah Cement Company limited. The population was stratified as per the departments and a representative sample of 98 respondents was selected through simple random sampling technique. The study primary data was a questionnaire. The collected data was compiled, sorted, edited, coded and analyzed to address the research objectives. Descriptive analysis was computed where mean, frequencies and percentages were obtained and Regression analysis was used to test for the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable. The findings from the analysis showed the effect that the performance appraisal practices had on employee productivity. These study results were presented in tables and figures using percentages and frequencies to facilitate comparisons and further analysis. The study found that the performance appraisal process was fair and targets had been set for all the staff to ensure the process achieved its objective in evaluating individual employee’s performance, 360- Degree performance appraisal is used in Savannah Cement Ltd to enhance individual employee’s work performance thus bringing about improvement in quality and accuracy of work, job knowledge, ability to work as team members and quantity in output. The study concluded that the management at Savannah Cement Company had adopted performance appraisal practices that aided in providing opportunities to identifying staff training needs, help employee’s meet performance targets and 360 degree appraisal method was widely adopted in Savannah Cement Ltd. The study recommends that the company should endeavor to use subordinates more often as a source of evaluation so that managers can be able to get feedback from their juniors regarding their performance and adopt performance appraisal process that does not only emphasize on academic qualifications but rather ability to achieving targets.


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INFLUENCE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS ATTRIBUTES ON PROJECT PERFORMANCE: A CASE OF YOUTH POLYTECHNIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN EMBU COUNTY, KENYA

Catherine Wanjiru Ngari - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Annie Ndiritu - University of Nairobi, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Organizational performance is one of the most imperative constructs in management research. Development projects are generally recognized as successful when they are finished on time, within budget, and in harmony with specifications and to stakeholders’ satisfaction. Many of the projects exceed the original cost; get cancelled prior to completion, while others fail in terms of the delivered functionality. While a lot of time and resources are dedicated to selecting and designing projects, it remains of vital significance that projects be adequately managed in organizations so that they can achieve their performance objectives. The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of Project Management Information System attributes on project performance in the youth polytechnics; a case of Embu County, Kenya. The Objectives of this study was to determine the influence of PMIS system software on performance of polytechnic development projects, to establish the influence of quality information generated by PMIS on performance of polytechnic development projects, to assess the influence of PMIS user on performance of polytechnic development projects and to determine the influence of PMIS use on performance of polytechnic development projects. Descriptive survey research design was used to enable the researcher obtain the opinions of project managers in their natural setting.  The study used a sample of 10 managers derived from a target population of 32, 43 instructors derived from a target population of 143 and 27 support staff derived from a target population of 90. Simple Random sampling technique was used to select the samples from the target population. Questionnaires were used to collect Data. Data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics; frequency tables mean. Cronach’s alpha test was used in assessing reliability of research instrument which was 0.917. Hence the instrument was reliable. Descriptive statistics and Correlation (using the Pearson’s coefficient of correlation) was used to establish the relationship between the dependent variables and the set of independent variables at 5% level of confidence using the SPSS version 20 software. The research found out that the use of the software to generate quality information needed by the user (project manager) to perform project tasks helped the project managers perform their tasks in a more professional manner thus increasing the probability of the project success. The quality of the system software has a major impact on the acceptance of the system, its effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance in organizations. The quality of information is directly and strongly related to project management information system use and to the system’s impacts on the project manager. The system’s ease of use, accessibility, learn capability and flexibility play an important role in producing relevant, accurate and secure information as perceived by the development project manager for the success of the development projects. The use of various function tools i.e. planning, monitoring, Evaluation and reporting tools had led to improving the probability of project performance due to the quality of information generated by the PMIS.  All the independent variables had a significant relationship to the dependent variable, because the p-value in all the relationships was 0.000 which is less than the alpha value (level of significance) 0.01. It was therefore concluded that it is not the complexity of the software that matters but the relevance of the information generated and the ability of the user to use the information to manage the project. It was recommended that Youth polytechnics should adopt the use of Project Management Information System in the management of their development projects.


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FACTORS INFLUENCING UTILISATION OF INUA JAMII PROGRAMME’S PERSONS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES CASH TRANSFER ALLOCATION BY BENEFICIARY HOUSEHOLDS IN MANYATTA CONSTITUENCY, EMBU COUNTY

Winnie Kananu Meeme - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Christopher Gakuu - University of Nairobi, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Throughout history, with regard to the right to social protection, persons with severe disabilities (PWSDs) have struggled to live full and productive lives as independently as possible. This is because in societies, especially in developing countries such as Kenya, where there is scarcity of resources, even much less dedicated for PWSDs; stigma, discrimination and attitudinal and environmental barriers continue to pose a serious challenge. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the utilization of the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer programme and its allocation to persons with severe disabilities and their households. The study was guided by four objectives: To establish how household characteristics; caregiver factors; individual characteristics of PSDW; and to finally examine how government regulations influence the utilization of PWSD’s Cash Transfer allocation by beneficiary households. The research site was located in Manyatta, one of four sub-counties that make up Embu County, in Eastern Kenya. This area was selected owing to its good mixture of child, young adults and adults with PWSD in the County. Ethical permission for the research was obtained from the National Council for Science and Technology (NACOSTE), the University of Nairobi’s Research Ethics Committee as well as the Embu County government. All participants consented to participate in the study, either directly or indirectly through written proxy consent from parents or grandparents for those participants with intellectual disability. Based on the social model theoretical framework, a conceptual map was designed to demonstrate the relations between the independent, dependent and moderating variables of the study. The social model provided the study with a broader framework by which the caregiver practices were examined as opposed to the medical model which would have limited the study.  The study adopted a descriptive research design. Data was cleaned, tabulated and analysed with the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0). The study begun through a pilot study involving 10 PWSD-CT beneficiary households (10% of 99) from neighbouring Runyenjes Constituency before embarking on the actual study so as to test the validity and reliability of the data collection instruments as well as to create an insight concerning the interests of the study. Aligned to its objectives, the study found that the household head significantly influenced the decision on the utilization of the cash transfer allocation at 51%. In the study’s second objective it was found that women bear the greatest burden of caring for PWSD where 89.6% of the caregivers were women. While in the third objective of the study, it was found that 9.4 percent of PWSD were 70 years and above while 17.7% of PWSD have chronic illnesses which increased their healthcare costs. In the forth objective of the study, evidence from the study shows that there seems to be very little monitoring of the utilization of cash transfer allocation by beneficiary households by government agencies. Also the government’s existing operations manual only gave general suggestions on how the allocation should be utilized i.e. to meet the household’s basic needs.  Although it is well documented that caregivers are often faced with significant social, physical, psychological and economic burdens, there has been fewer studies dedicated at examining the impact of government initiated programmes aimed at the PWSD and the caregiver in Kenya. This study is useful to the GoK, Embu County Government as well as the caregiver and scholars concerned with improving the wellbeing of PWSDs. For instance, the study found that although 59.4% of the beneficiaries that received the PWSD Cash Transfer, cited small scale farming as their other source of livelihood nearly 80.2% of the households had children less than 18 years who are dependents. This exacerbated poverty at the household level that many a time led to other forms of social violence in the household.


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AGENCY BANKING AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF COMMERCIAL BANKS IN EMBU COUNTY, KENYA

Irene Njoki Mbugua - Master of Business Administration (Finance Option), Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Job Omagwa - Department of Accounting and Finance, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Agency banking is receiving much attention all over the world owing to its associated benefits. In a number of countries, banks are finding new ways to make money delivering financial services to "unbanked" people. Rather than using bank branches and their own field officers, they offer banking and payment services through retail outlets, including grocery stores, pharmacies, seed and fertilizer retailers and gas stations among others. This study sought to establish the effect of agency banking model on financial performance of commercial banks focusing on commercial banks in Embu County, Kenya. In particular, the study sought to achieve the following specific objectives: establish the effect of cost-effectiveness of agency banking on financial performance of commercial banks, to determine the effect of commissions earned from agency banking on financial performance of commercial banks, to establish the effect of operational flexibility of agency banking on financial performance of commercial banks and to determine the effect of banking hall decongestion financial performance of commercial banks in Embu county, Kenya. This study was informed by: bank-led theory advantage and agency theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The study target population was all the Banks agent outlets in Embu County, Kenya. The sample size of the study was 69 bank officials in top, middle and junior level management in Embu County, Kenya. The study used stratified random sampling technique to select the study sample that participated in the study. The study used primary data which was collected by use of questionnaires that were administered through a Drop-off/Pick-Up method. Before the actual study, a pilot testing was conducted to establish validity and reliability of the data collection tool. The data collected was entered and coded in the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) for easy analysis and presentation of the results to be yielded. Descriptive statistics such as mean, frequencies, standard deviation and percentages were used for descriptive analysis of the data collected. The study also used correlation analysis and multiple regression to establish the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables. The study found that capital unavailability was an important factor that limited the spread of agency. In addition the study established that the commission earned acted as a motivation to agents to work harder and helps in expansion of the bank. The study therefore established that there was a significant difference in the mean number of transactions and mean value of monthly transactions of the banking institutions. In addition, there is there is a positive and fairly strong correlation between banking hall decongestion, operational flexibility, commission earned and cost-effectiveness and agency banking.


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