A THESIS SUBMITTED TO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONFEREMENT OF DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF KARATINA UNIVERSITY
KIURA, HESBON MBUTHIA
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Entrepreneurial leadership is crucial for cooperative organizations as it involves taking risks, driving growth as it encourages creativity and innovation. Ambidexterity refers to the ability of an organization to both exploit and explore implying to deliver efficiency, control, and incremental improvements, while embracing flexibility, autonomy, and experimentation. Organizational ambidexterity has the ability of firms to pursue and synchronize exploratory and exploitative innovation simultaneously it not only helps firms overcome structural inertia that results from a focus on exploitation, but also refrain firms from accelerating exploration without deriving benefits from these activities.Coffee has been an important cash crop in Kenya’s agricultural sector. It is one of the greatest foreign exchange earners of the country and a main source of employment in rural areas, providing food security and income for the rural areas. This success has been achieved through coffee cooperative societies management that process and market coffee for the farmers. In recent years, there has been a decline in coffee production in Kenya. The decline of coffee export earnings has been attributed to inefficient and ineffectiveness of coffee marketing cooperative societies management operations and therefore the need to refocus their approach. The general objective of this study was to examine how entrepreneurial leadership mediates the relationship between senior team attributes and organizational ambidexterity among coffee marketing cooperative societies in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were; to determine how shared vision influence organizational ambidexterity, to establish whether social integration affect organizational ambidexterity and to find out how contingency rewards influence organizational ambidexterity of coffee marketing cooperative societies in Kenya. The study also established the mediating role of entrepreneurial leadership between senior team attributes and organizational ambidexterity for coffee cooperative societies in Kenya. This study was anchored on two major theories which were Collective Entrepreneurship Theory and Path Goal Theory of Leadership and supported by other theories mentioned in the study. The study used cross-sectional survey design. The target population was coffee marketing cooperative societies registered in Kenya as at 31st December 2019. The study target population was 436 managers from coffee marketing cooperative societies while the sample size of this study was 242 managers. Primary data was obtained by the use of as elf-administered semi-structured questionnaire. A pilot study was done to check the reliability and validity of the research instrument. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The formulated hypotheses were tested using Baron and Kenny’s approach to validate the relationships between the study variables. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 was used to assist in analysis and findings were presented using cross-tabulations, charts and path models. The study found that entrepreneurial leadership partially mediates the relationship between senior team attributes and organization ambidexterity (R2 change from 11.1% to 16.6%). This study concludes that entrepreneurial leadership is a critical approach for coffee marketing cooperative societies in Kenya. The findings of the study will help managers to maximize their efficiency and achieve their strategic goals during their operations especially when they want to internationalize. The findings of this study will be of interest to coffee marketing cooperative society’s board of directors, government officials, academia, financial institutions and agropreneurs.