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Crisis Management in Government Parastatals: The Case Study of National Railways of Zimbabwe, Harare Station (Year 2012-2016)

Abstract


The crux of this study is to investigate crisis management in government parastatals; focusing on crisis management effectiveness, efficiency, crisis response strategies and factors affecting crisis management at National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). The 2008 economic turmoil has ignited different crises among state business entities in Zimbabwe. Financial, technological, and confrontation crises at NRZ became prominent following the 2008 economic decline, with seeming less attention and control being devoted. This quantitative research therefore, adopted a descriptive research design to investigate crisis management effectiveness, efficiency, crisis response strategies and factors affecting crisis management at NRZ. A sample of 100 respondents was selected from 135 employees targeted at NRZ- Harare station, using a proportionate systematic sampling technique.  Structured questionnaires were used to gather data. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 16.0 into percentages, means and standard deviations, then presented in form of tables. The study established that, crisis management at NRZ is ineffective, with several factors affecting crisis management, in which leadership mandate and support is the major limiting factor. However, crisis management efficiency at NRZ was also found to be moderate, with crisis response strategies such as recapitalisation, restructuring and public-private ownership being used. As a result, the researcher recommended NRZ management to adhere to company procedures and be freed from politics and corruption. Further, the researcher recommended for NRZ to seek inter-parastatal loans, international loans and investors, embark on Crisis Management training, massive infrastructure improvement and stakeholder relationship building. Further researches are recommended to investigate crisis management effectiveness and efficiency on crisis preparedness, crisis prevention, crisis event management and post-crisis management. Future studies should also assess the strength of the impact of crisis management factors on crisis management success.

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