School of Business and Economics, Moi University. Kenya.
Strategic decision making as a significant component of a firm’s strategy outlines the projected achievement of organization goals. Firm managers are thus expected to possess strategic thinking skills and competency so as to articulate a firm’s vision. While many researches have focused on antecedents of strategic decision making, there is miniature empirical evidence on emotional intelligence as key predictor of firm manager’s strategic thinking. Many researches on influence of emotional intelligence on strategic decision making have also focused on emotional intelligence in marketing, military, finance, manufacturing firms with little reference to private school enterprises which engage in tuition pricing, social and production unit enterprise strategies to gain competitive advantage hence the need for this study that researched on the effect of emotional intelligence and strategic decision making in private school enterprise in Nairobi County, Kenya. The specific objective was to examine the effect of emotional intelligence on strategic decision making. The research was grounded on emotional intelligence theory, upper echelons theory and decision theories. The study employed explanatory research design and collected data using a structured questionnaire. The target population was 1130 respondents from which a sample size of 504 respondents was drawn. Stratified sampling technique was used to select school directors, principals, deputy principals and heads of departments then simple random sampling was used to select respondents that participated in the study. A pilot study was carried out in private school enterprises in Kiambu County, Kenya and all the instruments’ reliability had a Cronbach’s alpha above 0.6. Data was coded and entered into SPSS 20 program and analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation, Analysis of Variance and hierarchical multiple regression methods. Descriptive analysis was used to summarize data into meaningful forms. Factor analysis was done to ensure content, construct and discriminant validity. Multiple regression results indicated that emotional intelligence significantly influenced strategic decision making (beta=.312, p=.001),). In conclusion, emotional intelligence of a manager plays a prediction role in strategic decision making. The findings are vital to the private school enterprises in relation to development of emotional intelligence of the managers which play significant roles in strategic decision making in a firm. The findings as well inform practitioners and investors in the private school enterprises to utilize emotional intelligence models in the development of private school managers.