Strategic Responses To Changes In The External Environment: A Case Of East African Breweries Limited

Patricia Gachambi


Organisations exist and operate within the environment. The environment can be classified into the external environment consisting of factors beyond the firm’s control and the internal environment consisting of factors within the firm’s control. Since the external environment is uncontrollable, the firm has to match its operations to the external environment in order to survive and succeed. The environment is dynamic and so for organisations to be effective, they should respond appropriately to changes in their respective environments. Strategic responses are the actions that organisations take to align themselves to their environments. This study adopted a case study approach to establish whether strategic responses are relevant to already successful companies. East African Breweries Limited has been a market leader in the alcoholic beverages industry in Kenya and even when it was faced by fierce competition it managed to dominate the industry.The study used both primary data collected through interviews with members of the company’s management and secondary data obtained from the company’s in-house publications, websites and newspapers. Content analysis was performed on the data. The study established that the company responded to only those changes which greatly impacted on the company’s activities. The company had applied various strategic responses to address these changes namely market development, product development and modification, vertical integration, information systems change, innovation, product differentiation, outsourcing, shared services centre and aggressive marketing campaigns. The study concluded that even for successful companies strategic responses were crucial in assuring continued success.

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