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Assignment Cover Sheet

Unit Co-ord.

Dr Kayombo

OFFICE USE ONLY


Assignment received:

Lecturer:
Student ID

Student Name

Mr Mwange
D06101

Mushota Kamwela

Unit Code

RM

Unit Name

Research Methods

Assignment
Title/Number

Research Proposal

Word Count

2,102

Assessors feedback:

Assessment:
Dated:

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1
Background of the study...............................................................................2
1.2
Statement of a problem..................................................................................3
1.3
General objective...........................................................................................3
1.4
Specific objective..........................................................................................3
1.5
Research questions.........................................................................................3
1.6
Rationale of study..........................................................................................4
1.7
Scope of study...............................................................................................4
1.8
Outline of dissertation....................................................................................5
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1
Culture...........................................................................................................6
2.2
Leadership.....................................................................................................6
2.3
Organisational structure.................................................................................6
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1
Sources of data...............................................................................................8
Appendix 1.......................................................................................................................9
Appendix 2.......................................................................................................................9
Appendix 3......................................................................................................................10
References.......................................................................................................................11

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1.0 INTRODUCTION
Strategic Planning in simplest of terms can be defined as a process by which organisations
move from where they are (current state) to where they want to be (desired state). Top
managers all around the world believe that strategic planning improves long term
performance of an organisation. It has also been discovered that the most successful
organisations have continuous strategic planning to keep up with the ever dynamic
environment. Strategic planning is also a way in which management communicates its
intentions to employees.
Strategic Planning is essentially a decision making process. It greatly benefits organisations
from formalizing of the procedures involved. Among the benefits include challenging
complacent acceptance of the status quo, synchronising different departments managers
efforts, giving a sense of direction just but to mention a few. All these benefits ultimately
spell success for an organisation.
Employees implement action plans and executive tasks which are products of the strategic
plan as prescribed by senior management. Therefore employees are very key in the process of
strategic planning and can either successfully implement these plans or otherwise. Their
culture towards strategic planning should therefore have implications on how these plans are
implemented and ultimately the organisations profitability.
This research aims to investigate how employee behaviour towards strategic planning process
affects the implementation of the agreed plans and ultimately the profitability of ZSIC.
1.1 BACKGROUND

Parastetals are State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The motivational force that led to their
establishment in Zambia was to achieve towards self-reliance. Another motivation for the
setup of these enterprises was to create employment. After independence, the economy was
made monopolistic and SOEs had no threats from new players entering the market. Strategic
planning was therefore not a key issue. Management and employees alike became relaxed
and the quality of the product/service reduced. A culture/behavior was more or less shaped.
The customer had no alternative and so did not complain. The black market developed and
thrived providing smuggled goods creating a parallel unofficial alternative to the customer.
A number of SOEs started to make losses and would require subsidies from the government.
These loss makers would help deplete funds held by the treasury rather than contributing to
its gain. In 1991 when the economy was liberalized, there was more pressure on these
parastetals, as the market became competitive with the entry of very strategic firms. This
meant that to thrive, these parastetals would require strategic planning.
However, 24 years after economic liberalization, still only 7 out of over 40 parastetals record
profits. Therefore, there is need to explore the relationship between employee behavior and
strategic plan implementation to establish the main cause of undesirable outcome of loss
making parastetals. Could it be that relaxed cultures that were present before 1991 have been

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carried forward to present times? Could it be what causes the ineffective implementation of
these plans?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

According to theory, when a firm draws up a formal strategic plan and implementation is
effectively done, it should be able to successfully achieve set goals and objectives. This in
turn should result in a successful performance of an organization. With formal strategies in
place, it is said that organizations will be better able to address market challenges, compete
advantageously and ultimately perform according to expectations.
However, theoretically, though a lot of challenges such as dynamism of an environment,
uncertainty in an environment could result in an unsuccessful performance of a firm, poor
implementation of strategic plan may well be one of the major factors of an organizations
poor performance. A significant number of firms that adopt formal strategic planning in
Zambia do not get where they desire to be. In other words these organizations fail when they
are supposed to succeed.
This research therefore an aim to give better insight on understanding the influence that
employee culture/behavior towards strategic planning has on implantation of plans. This will
assist in giving organizations the right focus taking into consideration that strategic planning
does take up a lot of resources. Ultimately, this study should give a basis for firms to perform
better in Zambia.

1.3 GENERAL OBJECTIVE

To investigate how employee culture/behaviour towards strategic planning influences the


implementation of strategic plans and ultimately the profitability of an organisation.
1.4 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

a. To investigate whether employee culture/behaviour influences the effective strategic


planning process.
b. To investigate what factors might affect employee culture/behaviour regarding
strategic planning.
c. To establish if there any management tools/techniques employed to steer employee
behaviour in a way so as to support effective strategic management planning process.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i.
ii.
iii.

To what extent does employee behaviour influence the implementation of strategic


plans?
Are employees involved in ways other than implementation during strategic planning
process?
What structure does the organisation have and does this affect employee behaviour
regarding strategic planning?
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iv.
v.

To what extent do employees understand strategic planning process?


What challenges do manages face with regards to employee behaviour during the
strategic planning process?

1.6 RATIONALE OF STUDY


Employee behaviour will be studied to determine how it influences the effective strategic planning
process.
'Strategic planning helps determine the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term,
matching its resources to its changing environment and, in particular, its markets, customers and
clients, so as to meet stakeholder expectations' Johnson and Scholes, 1993
However, if implemented poorly due to employee behaviour, this will result in an adverse situation of
an organisation making losses due to failure of competing in a market and meeting stakeholders
expectations.
This study therefore is helpful in identifying to what extent failure of strategic planning
implementation could be attributed to employee behaviour.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study will look at Zambia State Insurance Cooperation which is a state owned enterprise. The
focus of the strategic planning process will be the implementation part, though other areas of the
process will be looked at as well.
To measure the effectiveness of the strategic planning process, I will look at profitability as a
performance indicator.
1.8 OUTLINE OF DISSERTATION
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background of Study
1.2 Statement of Problem
1.3 General Objective
1.4 Specific Objective
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Rationale of Study
1.7 Scope of Study
1.8 Outline of Sudy
2.0 Outline of the literature
3.0 Research Methodologies
4.0 Data Analaysis/Presentation of Data
5.0 Discussion
6.0 Conclusion, Recommendation and suggestion for further research
7.0 Appendices and Bibliography

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2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW


Nowadays, it is usual for parastetals to use significant amounts of money for workshops that
boarder on strategic planning and performance. Consequently, there is expectation for return
on investment which is not as forth coming. This, therefore inspires the research at hand to
establish if employee culture in ZSIC does influence effective strategic planning, especially
the implementation part. The key words to my literature review include culture, strategy
involvement, leadership and strategy, organizational structure and strategy, training of
strategy implementation, strategy, factors affecting strategic planning process, just but to
mention a few.
2.1 Culture
Loftus (1984) speaks of culture consisting of beliefs, norms, customs, laws, values that are
shared by members of a society that affect many activities and processes within the very
society. An organization has particular values and beliefs that all employees are supposed to
observe. This means that if the organizations are implementing strategic plan, it is important
that everyone is brought on board so that everyone can own the process (Kiptoo, 2014). Deal
and Kennedy (1982) argue that culture is the single most important factor accounting for
success or failure in organizations. They identified four key dimensions of culture;
a) Values the beliefs that lie at the heart of the corporate culture.
b) Heroes the people who embody values.
c) Rites and rituals routines of interaction that have strong symbolic qualities.
d) The culture network the informal communication system or hidden hierarchy of power in
the organization.
2.2 Leadership
A leader is one who influences others to achieve objectives in a cohesive and coherent
manner. These are thought of as mentors and as such should be depended upon. They
exercise skills so that people are able to appreciate their leadership skills. Leaders are
different from managers in that managers work at maintaining the status quo where as leaders
always look at improving what exist in the 'now'. Leadership affect strategic planning and
hence strategic implementation. Burns (1918) says that Leadership over human beings is
exercised when persons with certain motives and purposes mobilize, in competition or
conflict with others, institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse,
engage, and satisfy the motives of followers... in order to realize goals mutually held by both
leaders and followers....
2.3 Organisational structure
Each organisation has a unique structure which can either make it conducive or not conducive
for strategy to be implemented. It reflects current image, reporting relationships and internal
politics. Okumus (2003:876) Organizational structure is defined by Okumus (2003) as the
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shape; division of labour; job duties and responsibilities; the distribution of power, and
decision-making procedures within the company where as Louw and Venter (2006) say that
organisational structure is The formal pattern of interactions and co-ordination designed by
management to link the tasks and patterns of individuals and groups in achieving
organizational goals. This therefore has a huge impact on the way strategy is implemented
as it depends on the duties and roles of different people in an organisation. A structure
therefore should be considered to check if it allows the free flow of information and whether
it enables coordination and cooperation so that effective implementation of strategy can be
achieved. Another simple way of looking at structure is by knowing who does what and what
level of accountability the individuals have. Clearly, organisation structure is fundamental to
the facilitation of successful strategy implementation. Without proper structures then strategic
planning might not see the light in some organization because structures play a major roles in
delivering the expected results.
It has been the government's desire ''to effectively manage public investments in order to
maximize returns on investments'' as set out as one of their objectives in Ministry of Finance
Strategic Plan (2012-2016). My investigation therefore aims to find out the correlation
between employees behavior and the implementation of strategic plans effectively.

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3.0 METHODOLGY
3.1 Sources of data
This research is mainly going to be a collection of qualitative data. The most appropriate
method of collecting this data therefore is by a full structured interview. As this research
touches behaviour, there will be need for some observation of how employees in this
organisation do things. To measure effective implementation of a strategy, I will look at
achievements of objectives over a time period. As strategy planning is done on three different
levels which are cooperate level, business level and operational level, the research will be
such that a full structured interview is done with employees from all the three levels.
Questionnaires will be handed out to several employees so as to have a wider view of how
effective strategy planning is affected by the employee culture.

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Appendix 1

Appendix 2
Date(s)

Cost item

Details

Amount (ZMW)

01.01.15

Paper

2 Reams @ ZMW 60 each

120.00

01.01.15
01.01.15 30.01.15
01.01.16 15.01.15

Stationary

Staples, clips, rubber bands

100.00

Wages

1 Research Assistant

500.00

Transport

To and from ZSIC Lusaka

300.00

20.01.15

Transport

To ZSIC Mazabuka

70.00

22.01.15
01.01.15 30.04.16

Transport

From ZSIC Mazabuka

70.00

Miscellaneous Miscellaneous

200.00

30.04.15

Binding

200.00

Final proposal binding + photocopying

1,560.00

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Appendix 3 (Questionnaire sample)


Age:........................
Sex:.........................
Dept:.......................
Questions
#1. Highest level of education
#2. How many years you have worked for ZSIC
#3. Do you know the vision of ZSIC

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References
Ministry of Finance (2012), Strategic Plan 2012 - 2016
Schmidt J., & Laycock, M. (20__), Understanding the Theory and Process of Strategy Development,
Theories of Strategic Planning journal
Ginette, M., & Saint-Pierre, J.,& Domonkos, J., (1995), Formal strategic planning, informedness and
firm performance: an empirical investigation, Global Finance Journal.
Kiptoo, J, & Mwirigi, M, (2014), Factors that influence Effective Strategic Planning Process in
Organisations, Business and Management Journal

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