Strategic Direction as an Antecedent between Strategy Implementation and Performance of Small and Medium Manufacturing Firms in Thika Sub-County, Kenya


  • Peter Kihara Kenya Methodist University School of Business and Economics, Department of Business Administration P.O. Box 45240 – 00100, Nairobi,
  • Henry Bwisa Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology College of Human Resource Development P.O. Box 62000 – 00200, Nairobi
  • John Kihoro The Co-operative University College of Kenya P.O. Box 24814, Nairobi


Words, Strategy Implementation, Strategic Direction, Firm’s Performance, SME


This paper explores the relationship between strategic direction as an antecedent between strategy implementation and performance of small and medium manufacturing firms (SME) in Thika Sub-County in Kenya. The study is underpinned in the Higgins 8-S strategy implementation framework where strategy and purpose is one of the 8-S component or a key variable required by the firm in maintaining superior performance and competitive edge among the rival firms. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 115 firms from the two key industrial subsectors within Thika town and its environs. Guided by the philosophy of logical positivism and for triangulation purposes, the study adopted a mixed research design which incorporated the descriptive, quantitative and qualitative designs. Pearson’s bivariate correlation analysis was used to indicate the relationship between the dependent and independent variables of the study and regression analysis was used to test hypothesis proposed in this study. The study findings indicated that there is a positive but insignificant relationship between strategic direction as an antecedent variable between strategy implementation and the performance of SME manufacturing firms in Thika, Kenya. The literature of strategic management had identified three main drivers in strategy implementation that is attention to leadership styles, attention to structure and attention to human resources. This study investigated whether strategic direction as an antecedent variable is a major driver influencing strategy implementations and performance of the manufacturing small and medium enterprises in contemporary organizations in a developing economy like Kenya. The findings in this study are in line with other scholars in strategic management literature who found mixed results between strategic direction and organizational performance. The study findings also revealed that although strategic direction on itself is an insignificant variable in determining manufacturing SME firm’s performance, it is often embedded in other key variable influencing performance such as leadership styles, structure, human resources and technology. The study concluded that manufacturing firms interested in enhancing their performance and staying ahead of competition should ensure that their strategic direction in terms of their vision, mission and objectives are well understood by all stakeholders undertaking strategy implementation since its effect in performance is always carried out by other variables. The manufacturing SME firm that lay emphasis on its strategic direction ahead of strategy implementation often experiences superior performance and have a competitive edge among the rival firms in the industry.


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How to Cite

Kihara, P., Bwisa, H., & Kihoro, J. (2016). Strategic Direction as an Antecedent between Strategy Implementation and Performance of Small and Medium Manufacturing Firms in Thika Sub-County, Kenya. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 4(3). Retrieved from