Cost-Saving in Operational Mechanization Projects on Organizational Performance of Tea Firms

  • Carolyne Chepkemoi Kirui Kenyatta University
Keywords: Cost Savings, Organization Performance, Strategic Analysis, Descriptive and Causal Design, Tea Firms
Share Article:


Cost reduction strategies assist firms to gain competitive advantages over other firms in the same industry. The introduction of mechanization in the tea industry has come with a shortfall of workforce reduction and the replacement of workers with machines. One of the important questions brought about by this is does mechanization benefit tea firms through cost reduction? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? This article investigates the effect of the accrued cost savings on organization performance. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to support the concept of technology utilization in production. The descriptive and causal research design was adopted. A sample size of 101 respondents was selected from a target population of 135 respondents using stratified sampling technique from within Multinational Tea Companies in Kericho, Kenya. Data was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. This study concludes that using tea-harvesting machines saves costs, which directly affects organizational performance. This study also concludes that tea-harvesting machines might affect production flexibility, which in turn influences organizational performance. There is a need to put in place policies that will enhance the use of tea harvesting machines to save operation costs. This will affect organizations’ performance positively.


Download data is not yet available.


Adams, R. (1992). Work Themes, Issues and Critical Debate. London: Macmillan Press.

Barbora, B., Jain, N., & Rahman, F. (1984). Effect of different methods of training young tea, Camellia sinensis L. 0. Kuntze on the bush frame. Journal of Plantation Crops, 12(1), 64-74.

Binswanger, H. (2006). Agricultural mechanization: a comparative historical perspective.

Bore, J. K. (2009). Mechanical harvesting of tea in Kenya, A review and future prospects. Nairobi. Kenya.

Botswana, In, G., & Mrema, e. (2011). Agricultural Mechanization Policies. A review of developments of agricultural Mechanization, p. 43–58.

Burgess. (2006). Evaluation of simple hand-held mechanical systems for harvesting tea. Experimental Agriculture, 42: 165-187.

Davil, T., Epstein, Mark, J., Shelton, & Robert. (2006). “Making Innovation Work: How to manage it, Measure It, and Profit from it., pp 31- 40.

Davis, F. D. (1989). “Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use and User Acceptance of Information Technology”. MIS Quarterly 13 (3), 319-339.

Deshpande, R., Farley, J., & Webster, J. F. (2003). “Corporate culture, customer orientation, and innovativeness in Japanese firms: a quadratic analysis.”. Journal of Marketing 57 (1), 23-37.

Eicher, C. K., & Baker, D. C. (1982). Research on agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A critical survey (No. 54071). Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

FAO. (2006). Farm power and mechanization for small farms in sub-Saharan Africa, by B.G. Sims & J. Kienzle, Agricultural and food engineering technical report No.3. Rome: Agricultural Support Systems Division.

Fischer, K. (2003). Fischer, K. (2003). A framework for quality management research and associated measurement instrument. Journal of Operations Management, 11, 339–366.

Georgopoulos, B., & Tannenbaum, A. (1997). “A Study of Organizational Effectiveness”, American Sociological Review, 22, pp. 534-40.

Hendrickson, A., Massey, P. D., & Cronan, T. P. (1993). On the test-retest reliability of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use scales. MIS Quarterly, 17(2) 227-230.

Kaluli, W., & Maina, J. (2017). Assessment of mechanical harvesting of tea and its viability for use in Kenya.

Kenya, T. B. (2009). Fact Sheet on Kenya Tea. Nairobi: TBK.

Lach, S., & Schankerman, M. (2008). Incentives and invention in universities. The RAND Journal of Economics, 39(2), 403-433.

Narver, J. C., & Slater, S. (2010). “The effect of a market orientation on business profitability.”. Journal of Marketing, 54(4): 20-35.

Nyasulu, S. (2009). Mechanical harvesting of tea. A research review,Newsletter.No.14,6, 3-1.

Obanda, P., & Owour, G. (2012). .(2012). Gross margin analysis of Amaranth vegetables production. Economics of Innovation and New Technology (8). Journals of agriculture and biodiversity research vol1. of empirical studies, 5-25.

Parsons, G. (2011). Information technology: a new competitive weapon, Sloan Management Review 25, 1 4-14. 30.

Pingali, P. (2007). Agricultural mechanization: adoption patterns and economic impact. Handbook of agricultural economics, 3, 2779-2805.

Porter, M., & Miller, V. (1985). How information gives you competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, Vol.63, pp.149-160.

Scherer, D. E. (1985). Intention, perceived control, and weight loss: An application of the theory of planned behaviour. J. Personality and Soc. Psych 49(3), 843.

Shelton, J., Carthy, Robert, J., Minichiello, & Joseph. (2006). (2006), "Business Policy and Strategy". India: New Delhi.

Stuart, W. (2000). Influence of sources of communication, user characteristics and innovation characteristics on adoption of communication technology (Doctoral dissertation. Pro Quest Digital Dissertations. The University of Kansas.

Szajna, B. (1994). Software evaluation and choice: Predictive validation of the technology acceptance instrument. MIS Quart. 18(3), 319-324.

Venkatesh, V. (2000). Determinants of perceived ease of use: Integrating control, intrinsic motivation, and emotion into the technology acceptance model. Information Systems Research, 11, 342-365.

Wijeratne, M. A. (2003). Harvesting policies of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) for higher productivity and quality. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 6(14), 91-97.

Wilkie, A., & Malenga, N. (1993). Shear plucking in Southern Africa, a review of technical aspects proceedings of the first regional seminar, Blantyre, TRF (CA) World Bank Research Observer, 187-211,1(1): 27–56.

25 March, 2020
How to Cite
Kirui, C. (2020). Cost-Saving in Operational Mechanization Projects on Organizational Performance of Tea Firms. East African Journal of Business and Economics, 2(1), 1-9.