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Management and national development in Kenya: toward a normative framework

Nanda R. Shrestha (School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Wilbur I. Smith (School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Lydia McKinley‐Floyd (School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Kenneth R. Gray (School of Business and Industry, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 2 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a normative framework focusing on the need to enhance the roles of the four fundamental environmental forces of management – socio‐demographic, techno‐economic, politico‐institutional, and cultural. The objective is to create a business climate of certainty so that Kenya can achieve its goals of national and private sector development and of elevating its global competitiveness in terms of foreign direct investment and exports.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses secondary data to describe Kenya's development goals, its current level of private sector development, its position in the global economy, and the historical and cultural dimensions of its management practices. Against that backdrop, the article combines systems thinking and broad‐based reasoning to develop a normative management framework for policy makers and for domestic and international business managers. After using data to describe Kenya's status with respect to the four environmental forces, the article explains how Kenya – through reforming private and public institutions and implementing enlightened national development polices – could shape its management system and its prevailing climate of uncertainty in order to enhance its competitiveness in the present global economy.

Findings

The paper concludes that, if Kenya takes policy actions necessary to redirect and enhance its environmental forces, it would improve the efficacy of its resource management system and reduce the uncertainty inherent in the system. This would also promote openness to international trade and business and reduce the “cost” and other real or perceived barriers to business in the country to world levels, leading Kenya to become more competitive in the present global economy in terms of both increased foreign investment and export. As a result, Kenya should experience higher levels of private sector development, economic growth, and employment and, consequently, reduced poverty and higher standards of living for its citizens.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a normative, broad‐based management framework for national and private sector development in a cross‐cultural context. This framework should prove particularly useful to governments, policy makers, and business managers in countries that are in the early stages of private sector development and who are charged with achieving national development goals and with increasing the global competitiveness of their countries' economies.

Keywords

Citation

Shrestha, N.R., Smith, W.I., McKinley‐Floyd, L. and Gray, K.R. (2008), "Management and national development in Kenya: toward a normative framework", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 244-267. https://doi.org/10.1108/17468800810883675

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited