Main Article Content

Peter Rigii Gaitho
Zachary Bolo Awino


The general objective of the study was to determine whether ethical practices and organizational structure influence the relationship between strategic leadership and service delivery of County Governments in Kenya. The findings would aid the audit, review and strengthening of existing policies aimed at ensuring good ethical practices in public entities. The relevant theories reviewed for this study were the New Public Management (NPM) theoretical perspective, upper echelon theory, institutional theory and principal agent theory. This study used a positivism research philosophy. The study used a cross sectional survey. The target population for the study was drawn from the 47 Counties in Kenya as per 2010 constitution. The study used both primary and secondary data which were collected using questionnaires, interviews and desk review. Data analysis took place at two levels – descriptive statistics level and inferential statistics level. The study found that the entire hypothesis tested were statistically significant and thus supported by the study. It was therefore recommended that county governments must understand the service delivery dimensions in order to carry out frequent analysis and develop strategic leadership concepts relevant to their counties.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gaitho, P., & Awino, Z. (2018). STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN AFRICAN CONTEXT. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 6(11), 31-42.
Author Biographies

Peter Rigii Gaitho, University of Nairobi

School of Business –Phd Candidate

Zachary Bolo Awino, University of Nairobi

School of Business, Associate Professor of strategy and Supply Chain


Abdullahi, M. (2013). Ethics and Accountability in Nigerian Public Service: Its Collapse and the Way Forward. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(5), 117.
Alessandro, M., Lafuente, M., & Santiso, C. (2014). Governing to Deliver: Reinventing the Center of Government in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.
Alexander, P. (2010). Rebellion of the poor: South Africa's service delivery protests–a preliminary analysis. Review of African Political Economy, 37(123), 25-40.
Allio, R.J. (2015). Good strategy- good leaders. Strategy & Leadership, 43 (5), 3–9
Aryee, S., Luk, V., & Stone, R. (1998). Family-responsive variables and retention-relevant outcomes among employed parents. Human Relations, 51(1), 73-87.
Aziz, M. A. A., Ab Rahman, H., Alam, M. M., & Said, J. (2015). Enhancement of the accountability of public sectors through integrity system, internal control system and leadership practices: A review study. Procedia Economics and Finance, 28, 163-169.
Bass, B. M. (2007). Executive and strategic leadership. International Journal of Business, 12(1), 33.
Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2006). Transformational leadership. Psychology Press.
Batley, R. (2004). The politics of service delivery reform. Development and Change, 35(1), 31-56.
Blind, P. K. (2011). Accountability in public service delivery: a multidisciplinary review of the concept. In Expert group meeting Engaging Citizens to Enhance Public Sector Accountability and Prevent Corruption in the Delivery of Public Services. Vienna, 1(8), 11-13.
Bold, T., Svensson, J., Gauthier, B., Mæstad, O., & Wane, W. (2011). Service delivery indicators: Pilot in education and health care in Africa. CMI Report, 2011(8). Retrieved from
Bovens, M. (2010). Two concepts of accountability: Accountability as a virtue and as a mechanism. West European Politics, 33(5), 946-967.
Bratton, M. (2006). Seeking and Securing Political Accountability in Africa. Afrobarometer Working Papers. Retrieved from
Brysland, A., & Curry, A. (2001). Service improvements in public services using SERVQUAL. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 11(6), 389-401.
Cheeseman, N., Lynch, G., & Willis, J. (2016). Decentralization in Kenya: the governance of governors. Modern African Studies, 54(01), 1-35.
Cohen, J., & Grifo, J. A. (2007). Multicentre trial of pre-implantation genetic screening reported in the New England Journal of Medicine: an in-depth look at the findings. Reproductive biomedicine online, 15(4), 365-366.
Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2008). Business methods. Boston: Irwin.
Crowe, J. (2011). New challenges for leadership and accountability in local public services in England. The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, 7(3), 206-217
Crowther, D., & Jatana, R. (2005). Agency theory: a cause of failure in corporate governance. In D. Crowther & R. Jatana (eds.). International dimensions of corporate social responsibility (pp. 135-152). Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press.
Culnan, M. J., & Williams, C. C. (2009). How ethics can enhance organisational privacy: Lessons from the choice point and TJX data breaches. MIS Quarterly, 33(4), 673-687.
D'Arcy, M., & Cornell, A. (2016). Devolution and Corruption in Kenya: Everyone’s Turn to Eat? African Affairs, 115 (459), 246-273
Dion, M. (2012). Are ethical theories relevant for ethical leadership? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(1), 4-24.
Dorasamy, N. (2010). Enhancing an ethical culture through purpose-directed leadership for improved public service delivery: A case for South Africa. African Journal of Business Management, 4(1), 56.
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) (2005). Public-Private partnerships for service delivery: Water and sanitation. ECA.
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Agency theory: An assessment and review. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 57-74.
Eriksson, P., & Kovalainen, A. (2008). Qualitative research in business studies. London: Sage
Fobosi, S. C. (2011). Service Delivery, Public Representation and Social Protests in East London, South Africa. Retrieved from
Fourie, D., & Poggenpoel, W. (2016). Public sector inefficiencies: Are we addressing the root causes? South African Journal of Accounting Research, 1-12.
Fox, W. & Mayer, I. H. (1996). Public Administration Dictionary. Cape Town: Juta.
Ganguli, S., & Roy, S. K. (2010). Service quality dimensions of hybrid services. Managing service quality: An international journal, 20(5), 404-424.
Gay, L. R., Mills G. E., & Airasian, P. (2006). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Ghai, Y. P. (2011). Kenya’s Constitution: An Instrument for change. Nairobi: Clarion.
Goetz, A.M. & Jenkins, R. (2005). Reinventing accountability: making democracy work for human development. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Government of Kenya (2010). The Constitution. Nairobi: Government Printer.
Gowan, M., Seymour, J., Ibarreche, S. & Lackey, C. (2001). Service quality in a public agency: same expectations but different perceptions by employees, managers, and customers. Journal of Quality Management, 6, 275-291
Grenne, J. C. (2006). Toward a methodology of mixed methods social inquiry. Research in the Schools, 13(1), 93-98.
Hambrick, D. C. (2007). Upper echelons theory: An update. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 334-343.
Haque, M. S. (2007). Revisiting the new public management. Public Administration Review, 67(1), 179-182.
Harris, D., & Wild, L. (2013). Finding solutions: making sense of the politics of service delivery. London: ODI.
Hulme D. & Sanderatne N. (2008). The toothless and the muzzled: Public accountability, public expenditure management and governance in Sri Lanka. Manchester: University of Manchester.
Hussein F. H., & Wanyoike D. (2015). Challenges in service delivery within the procurement function of county governments in Kenya, a case of Nakuru Sub-County, Kenya. International Journal of Research in Business Management, 3(11), 1-14
Ihuah, P. W., & Eaton, D. (2013). The pragmatic research approach: A framework for sustainable management of public housing estates in Nigeria. Journal of US-China Public Administration, 10(10), 933-944.
Islam, F. (2015). New Public Management (NPM): A dominating paradigm in public sectors. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 9(4).
Keohane, R. O. (2008). Complex accountability and power in global governance: Issues for global business. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 8(4), 361-367.
Khemani, S. (2006). Local government accountability for health service delivery in Nigeria. Journal of African Economies, 15(2), 285-312.
Khuntia, R. & Suar, D. (2004) A scale to assess ethical leadership of Indian private and public sector managers. Journal of Business Ethics, 49, 13–26
Kinoti, H. W. (ed.) (2010). African Ethics: Gĩkũyũ Traditional Morality. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Kobia, M., & Bagaka, O. (2013). Separation of powers in Kenya’s devolved administrative system: Opportunities and challenges. Commonwealth Governance Handbook 2013/14
Kuye J. O. A & Mafunisa M.J (2003). Responsibility, Accountability and Ethics: The Case for Public Service Leadership. Journal of Public Administration, 38 (4), 421 - 437.
Leruth, L., & Paul, E. (2006). A principal-agent theory approach to public expenditure management systems in developing countries. IMF Working Paper. Available at SSRN:
Markiewicz, P. (2011). Change management in the strategy implementation process. Intellectual Economics, 5(10), 257–267.
Masungo, M. T. W., & Marangu, W. N. (2015). Effect of Strategic Leadership on the Performance of Devolved Government System in Kakamega County, Kenya. European Journal of Business and Management, 7 (13), 327-338.
McManus, J. (2011). Revisiting ethics in strategic management. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 11(2), 214-223.
Metz, T. (2015) African ethics and journalism ethics: news and opinion in light of ubuntu. Journal of Media Ethics, 30 (2), 74-90.
Milner, E., & Joyce, P. (2012). Lessons in Leadership: Meeting the Challenges of Public Service Management. New York: Routledge.
Minja, D. (2013). Accountability practice in Kenya’s public service lessons to guide service improvement author's bio data. International Journal of Business and Management Review, 1(4), 54-63,
Mugenda, O.M. & Mugenda. A.G. (2007). Research methods, qualitative and quantitative approaches. Nairobi: African Centre for Technology Studies.
Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (2000). Research methods in the social sciences, 6th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers and St. Martin’s Press
Narayanan, V. K., & Zane, L. J. (2009). Inventing a future for strategic leadership: phenomenal variety and epistemic opportunities. Journal of Strategy and Management, 2(4), 380-404.
Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.
Odhiambo-Mbai, C. (2003). Public Service Accountability and Governance in Kenya Since Independence. African Journal of Political Science, 8(1), 113-145.
OECD (2008). Service delivery in fragile situations. Key concepts, findings and lessons. Journal of Development, 9(3), 34.
Ofori, G. (2009). Ethical leadership: Examining the relationships with full range leadership model, employee outcomes, and organizational culture. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(4), 533-547.
Omari, A. O., Kaburi, S. N., & Sewe, T. (2013). Change Dilemma: A Case of Structural Adjustment through Devolution in Kenya. In Scientific Conference Proceedings (pp. 491-499).
Phipps, K. A., & Burbach, M. E. (2010). Strategic leadership in the nonprofit sector: opportunities for research. Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, 11(2), 137.
Public Service Commission (2008). Basic Components in Monitoring and Evaluation. Pretoria, South Africa: Government Printers.
Racher, F. E., & Robinson, S. (2003). Are phenomenology and postpositivism strange bedfellows?. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 25(5), 464-481.
Ramírez-Alujas, Á. V., & Dassen, N. (2014). Winds of change: The progress of open government policymaking in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.
Ravitch, S. M., & Riggan, M. (2012). Reason & rigor: how conceptual frameworks guide research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Resick, C. J., Whitman, D. S., Weingarden, S. M., & Hiller, N. J. (2009). The bright-side and the dark-side of CEO personality: examining core self-evaluations, narcissism, transformational leadership, and strategic influence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1365.
Resick, C.J., Hanges, P.J., Dickson, M.W. & Mitchelson, J.K. (2006). A Cross-Cultural Examination of the Endorsement of Ethical Leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 63 (4), 345–359
Robbins, A. (2008). Creating lasting change. Anthony Robbins Companies.
Rok, B. (2009). Ethical context of the participative leadership model: taking people into account. Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, 9(4), 461-472.
Rosenbaum, A. (2003). New challenges for senior leadership enhancement for improved public management. Leadership and Social Transformation in the Public Sector: Moving from Challenges to Solutions, 103-13.
Rushton, K. (2002). Business ethics: a sustainable approach. Business Ethics: A European Review, 11, 137-139.
Ruwhiu, D., & Cone, M. (2010). Advancing a pragmatist epistemology in organizational research. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 5 (2), 108-126
Sarker, A. E. (2006). New Public Management in Developing Countries: An Analysis of Success and Failure with particular reference to Singapur and Bangladesh in International Journal of Public Sector Management, 19(2).
Schoemaker, P. J. H. & Krupp, S. (2015) New Public Management (NPM). Overcoming barriers to integrating strategy and leadership. Strategy & Leadership, 43(2), 23 – 32
Schutte, N., Barkhuizen, N., & Swanepoel, S. (2014). A strategic leadership competency model for the South African public service. 6th International Conference on Humanities, Geography and Economics (ICHGE'2014) Nov. 27-28 Cape Town (South Africa).
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2009). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. 5th edition. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Sewdass, N. (2009). The implementation of competitive intelligence tools and techniques in public service departments in South Africa to improve service delivery: A case study of the Department of Home Affairs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pretoria.
Sharma, B. (2008). Voice, accountability, and civic engagement: A conceptual overview. Overseas Development Institute. Commissioned by Oslo Governance Centre, Bureau for Development Policy. UNDP.
Siphumeze, M. (2015). Leadership and service delivery in Diepsloot. Unpublished Master’s Theses. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved from
Somekh, B., & Lewin, C. (2005). Research methods in social sciences. London: Sage.
Stewart J, Harte V, & Sambrook S. (2011). What is theory? Journal of European Industrial Training, 35 (3), 221-229
Stirton, L., & Lodge, M. (2001). Transparency mechanisms: Building publicness into public services. Journal of Law and Society, 28(4), 471-489.
UNECA (2005). The Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Progress and Challenges. Addis Ababa: UNECA.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (2006). Human development report: Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. New York: United Nations Development Program.
Urbinati, N., & Warren, M. E. (2008). The concept of representation in contemporary democratic theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 387-412.
Van Rooyen, E.J. (2008). The leadership and ethics interface: strengthening human resources and organizational capacity for development. Journal of Public Administration, 43 (3.1).
Wallis, J., & Gregory, R. (2009). Leadership, accountability and public value: resolving a problem in “new governance”? International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3-4), 250-273.
Weir, A. A., Chappell, J., & Kacelnik, A. (2002). Shaping of hooks in New Caledonian crows. Science, 297(5583), 981-981.
Zvavahera, P. (2013). The effect of leadership on service delivery in universities. Research in Higher Education Journal, 21(1), 1-8.