IT Capability and Competitiveness of Consultancy Firms in Nairobi County, Kenya
Tanui, Joel Kipkurui
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The business environment is never static, but constantly changing according to the influence of global and national competitive forces and other environmental factors. Firms respond to the conditions surrounding them by adjusting their purpose and shape via deployment of appropriate strategic capabilities to subdue the environmental challenges and enhance competitiveness. Increasingly many firms have resorted to heavy investments in IT capabilities, to cope with the changing business environment. However, only some firms receive pay offs while many others do not. This study is of the view that the difference in competitiveness of firms with respect to the heavy IT investments, is in the differential deployment of IT capabilities across the firms. However, there is scarcity of information on the deployment of IT capabilities as a source of competitiveness. This study therefore proposes to explore the deployment of information technology to build competitiveness for businesses in Nairobi County, Kenya. This study seeks to test six hypotheses covering direct and moderated (by institutional forces) relationships between IT capability and competitiveness, IT capability and firm competence and between firm competence and competitiveness. This study will adopt a positivist philosophy approach, cross-sectional explanatory research design and random sampling in order to arrive at meaningful and objective data. From the total population of 265 consultancy firms in Nairobi, the target sample of 157 consultancy firms will be picked via Microsoft excel generated random numbers. Data collection will be done via structured questionnaires, after which multiple regression analyses will be used to analyze the data. External validity of the questionnaire will be complied with by adequate sample size, which for this study will be 157. The reliability of the research instrument will tested via repeated tests on the same sample of and the instrument refined to achieve a minimum Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.7. The expected outcome of this study, in line with the theoretical and conceptual predictions and scarce inadequate empirical studies, is that IT capability, firm competence and institutional context influence the competitiveness of consultancy firms in Nairobi County.