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Constantine Chebiego - Master of Business Administration, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Dr. Paul Kariuki - Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya


Kenya has been experiencing turbulent times with regard to its organizational practices and this has led to declining profits in the manufacturing sector of this economy. Organizations are operating in turbulent and very competitive environment which keeps changing.  In order to remain competitive, there is need to align various firm variables in a way aimed at maximizing the organization performance however, setting performance targets for any organization may not always increase bottom line.  The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect of strategic firm level factors on performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd. To achieve the main objective, the study was guided by the following specific objectives: to determine the effect of communication systems on performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd, to establish the effects of leadership style on performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd, to find out how organizational structure affects performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd and to determine the effects of organizational culture on performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd. This study was grounded on contingency theory, situational leadership theory, Theory of strategic balancing and Durkheim’s theory of culture. This study adopted descriptive research design. The target population was all 276 employees working in management and operational levels at Unilever Ltd. Stratified and simple random sampling technique was used in this study to select a sample of 161 respondents. Primary data was collected using self-administered semi structured questionnaires which were distributed to the respondents using drop and pick method. The secondary data was obtained from published sources and literature within the company. All the questionnaires received were referenced and items in the questionnaire were coded to facilitate data entry. After data cleaning which entails checking for errors in entry, descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean score and standard deviation were estimated for all the quantitative variables. Inferential data analysis was done using Pearson moment correlation and multiple regression analysis. The quantitative data was presented inform of tables and qualitative data in prose. The study found that the organization’s philosophy builds a cohesive and productive organization and that organizational norms promote teamwork. Further, the study found that management traits of the leaders have boosted their effectiveness in the organization and competencies contribute to enhanced employee performance and organizational success. The study concluded that organization culture had the greatest effect on the performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd, followed by leadership style then communication systems while organization structure had the least effect to the performance of Unilever Kenya Ltd. Organizational structure, culture and communication systems combined effect was more than independent effect and therefore the study recommends that the management of Unilever Kenya Ltd should be careful to have the appropriate combination of variables that would translate to improved performance. The organization need to have the appropriate structure, communication systems and a supportive culture.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)