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CHALLENGES TO WOMEN’S REPRESENTATION IN KENYA’S FOREIGN SERVICE

Fatma Abdullatif Abdallah - PhD Candidate, School of Political Science and Public Administration, Shandong University, China.


ABSTRACT

This research paper is a gender dimension study of the composite challenges of women diplomats in Kenya’s foreign [diplomatic] service. Despite the appointment of women to higher echelons of Kenya’s foreign service establishment, the challenges experienced in the course of undertaking their diplomatic assignments at Kenya Missions Abroad and headquarters have alluded the attention of Kenyan scholarship. The research examined the barriers to women’s representation in the foreign service with reference to the challenges encountered in the course of their advancement of Kenya’s foreign policy and diplomatic agenda. It is a description of the hurdles based on the experiences of senior and young women diplomats whilst undertaking diplomatic duties in the Foreign Service. The challenges are multifaceted comprising both societal and state-based [institutional]. Through the use of qualitative method combining primary and secondary sources of data, the study attempted to respond to the question: What are the challenges encountered by women in advancing Kenya’s foreign policy and diplomatic agenda? Primary data was obtained from biographical analysis and anonymous interviews of female diplomats, while secondary data was derived from peer reviewed journals, government records and textbooks. The study found that work-family life integration; social demands of networking; inadequate allocation of funds to Missions; conflicting relations between political and career ambassadors; stagnation and bias in policy decision making and the dilemma of deployment to strategic and non-strategic stations undermined the intensity of diplomatic presence and furtherance of Kenya’s national interests by Ambassadors and other women diplomats. However, the challenges were time specific, geopolitical and resulting from a combination of societal and institutional factors. The findings inform policy re-orientation towards gender mainstreaming in Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an effective instrument in elevating Kenya’s global presence. The study recommends among others, promotion of gender diversity and inclusivity in senior foreign policy decision making and professionalization of Kenya’s foreign service commensurate with the 21st century dynamics.


Full Length Research (PDF Format)

AUDIT FIRM CHARACTERISTICS AND AUDIT QUALITY FOR FIRMS LISTED AT THE NAIROBI SECURITIES EXCHANGE IN KENYA

Eliud Munene Mugo - Master of Business Administration (Finance Option), School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Daniel Makori - Department of Accounting and Finance, Kenyatta University, Kenya


ABSTRACT

There have been numerous financial scandals and audit reporting failures in both public and private organizations some of which are listed in the NSE which has led Companies in various sector of the economy to experience financial distress; that is circumstances in which a company cannot meet its current obligations using operating cash flows and it is therefore faced with the need to employ corrective measures.  Such distresses have been occasioned by professional misconduct while handling financial accounts and consequently raising doubts on auditing profession.  Consequently, a lot of questions have been raised about the auditing profession in Kenya.  Much of the concerns are about reduced quality audit and independence of auditors and especially the Big 4. This study therefore sought to establish the effect of audit firm characteristics on audit quality of firms listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange. This study aimed to investigate the joint effect of audit firm tenure, auditor reputation, auditor independence and auditor professional competence and due care on quality audit of firms listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange in Kenya. The study was anchored on the agency theory, role theory and audit expectation gap and the signaling effect theory. A descriptive research design was used. The researcher used primary and secondary data for a period of five years between 2011 and 2015. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires issued to selected respondents and secondary data was derived from audited and published financial statement for the listed companies in the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the NSE, CMA and other relevant websites and recorded in a data collection sheet.  A population of 67 listed firms was the object of study out of which 33 firms were selected using purposive sampling technique. This sample was approximately 50%.  Inferential statistics like correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were used to measure and analyze the results of the study which was analyzed and presented in form of statements and tables. The researcher applied high ethical standards to ensure no information is misrepresented and citations made accordingly.  SPSS package version 7.0 was used to analyze the data. The findings and conclusions focused on effects the independent variables have on quality audit for selected firms listed in the NSE in Kenya. The recommendations thus enables audit firms, clients, all users of financial information and investors to have in-depth knowledge of firm characteristics that allow objective financial reporting and sound investment decision making. The study found that firms allowed quality audit work to be carried out because of strong commitment and dedication to management role and profession in the organization, that management ensured that there was no personal relationship with the auditors that would lead to familiarity threats and compromise their independence, that duration in years and rotation of auditor or lead partner greatly affect quality audit for firms and that auditors have the required academic qualifications to be professional auditors. The study concluded that audit tenure activities had the greatest effect on the influence of stakeholder activities on audit quality, followed by auditor reputation, then auditor independence then auditor professional competence while disciplinary measures had the least effect on audit quality. The study recommends that there is need to increase the proportion of independent auditors since an increase in their number reduces the chances of financial misreporting and leads to positive perception by investors and that there should be high level of professionalism by the audit firms.


Full Length Research (PDF Format)

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RESOURCE SCHEDULING AND PROJECT PERFORMANCE OF INTERNATIONAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN NAIROBI CITY COUNTY, KENYA

Obegi Dismus Obuba - Master of Business Administration (Project Management), Kenyatta University, Kenya

Gladys J. Kimutai - Lecturer, Management Science Department, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya


ABSTRACT

Due to project management requirements for tight end-date-drive schedules it is imperative that resource scheduling takes centre stage to ensure high project performance. Resource scheduling would ensure constraints associated with time and resources are identified as a step towards better resource control. The purpose of this study was to assess resource scheduling and project performance of international not-for-profit organizations in Nairobi County, Kenya. The specific objectives were: To determine how budgeting influences project performance of International Not-For-Profit Organizations in Nairobi County; To identify how staffing influences project performance of International Not-For-Profit Organizations in Nairobi County; To interrogate how project changes influence project performance of International Not-For-Profit Organizations in Nairobi County and; To determine how project equipping influences project performance of International Not-For-Profit Organizations in Nairobi County. The target population for the research was 187 INGOs operating from Nairobi County.  Using simple random sampling the study sampled 50% of the INGOs operating from Nairobi County, giving a total of 94 INGOs covered by the study. Questionnaires were administered to 94 Project Managers from each of the INGOs that were sampled. Archival information was also collected from project performance reports. The researcher used face validity to determine whether the questionnaire was logical and accurately measured the study variables.  The researcher sought the opinion of experts including the supervisor and peers in counter checking the validity of the questionnaire. In ensuring reliability, data collection instruments were pilot tested with a sample size of 5 INGOs representing 5% of the total number of INGOs that were included in the study. The results of the pilot test were calculated using Cronbach alpha with alpha coefficient ranges in value from 0 to 1. In data analysis, the study employed descriptive statistics to describe the characteristics of each variable. Using linear regression model and analysis of variance, the research determined the relationship between the four independent variables and the dependent variable. The research utilized data presentation methods of tables and figures. The major findings of the research included: There exists periodic budget monitoring to measure expenditures against budget; Project staff complete their assignments as allocated; A number of project changes are made during implementation; Project equipment is assigned to staff for use during project implementation; The organization measures its project performance periodically and; There exists a supporting learning environment in the organization. Conclusions from the study were: Majority of the INGOs covered in the study had periodic budget monitoring to measure expenditures against budget; Most of the INGOs that responded in the study project had project staff completing their assignments as allocated; Most INGOs in the study assigned project equipment to staff for use during project implementation. Most INGOs that responded to the study undertook a number of project changes during implementation. The study recommended that INGOs should continue with good practices of ensuring resources are allocated to projects from inception until closure. Such good practices could be learning avenues that other sectors of society can adopt. INGOs should also continue placing importance on their staff, with periodic appraisals and allocation of equipment for successful implementation of projects. Further research could be done on how organizations measure their performance in project management and on identifying other factors that account for the remaining 48.7% contribution to project performance of INGOs in Nairobi County.


Full Length Research (PDF Format)

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