Drivers of competitive advantage and performance of Commercial Banks in Nairobi County, Kenya
Mwangi, Julius Kahuthia
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All firms aim at achieving and sustaining competitive advantage, leading to high performance. However, they face challenge on how to achieve and sustain this performance, especially in a rapidly changing environment. Empirical studies indicate that this can be achieved if the firms understand drivers of their competitive advantage. Kenya‟s commercial banking sector faces such challenges, and though the sector has generally been performing well, there is difference in performance among the banks, with some banks reporting poor performance so far as profit before tax is concerned. This study evaluated the relationship between drivers of competitive advantage and the performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The drivers of competitive advantage studied were bank activities, bank activity drivers, initial conditions and managerial choice. The study also evaluated the moderating effect of dynamic capabilities on the relationship between drivers of competitive advantage and performance. The study was anchored on the Dynamic Capabilities Theory. Explanatory and cross sectional survey designs were employed in the study. The study explored all the 43 commercial banks. Data collection was carried out using a self–administered, semi-structured questionnaire for primary data, whereas secondary data was collected from Central Bank of Kenya website plus the commercial bank websites, with help of a designed tool. The study used descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation and percentages, to explain characteristics of data, while inferential statistics, mainly hierarchical multiple regression, were used to test the relationships between drivers of competitive advantage and bank performance. Tables and figures were used to present the results for ease of understanding and interpretation. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis. The study established the relationship between performance and bank activities, performance and bank activity drivers, as well as performance and managerial choices, to be positive and statistically significant. Dynamic capabilities were found to have a moderating role between drivers of competitive advantage and performance. However, the study found that initial conditions do not have a significant relationship with performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The study recommends that the banking management lobby for the training of all bank staff on the role and application of the various categories of dynamic capabilities as well as on market volatility and the correct measures to be taken within their banks. The study also recommends that all staff be trained on customer service delivery and customer relationship. Management should also ensure robust training programs involving all their employees so as to uplift their intellectual capital.