Evaluation of competitive strategies applied by savings and credit co-operatives in enhancing their financial performance: in Kiambu county Kenya
Nganga, Mwangi Daniel
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In today’s dynamic and turbulent business environment where change is the only constant, SACCO’s are finding it hard to perform financially and survive amidst cut throat competition in the financial sector. In Kenya’s financial landscape where the SACCOs play an important role in financial intermediation with a focus on personal development and growth of SMEs, their fundamental role has continued to diminish due to ever growing competition in this sector. A firm can apply the right generic competitive advantage to result in superior performance. However, in the pursuit and application of right competitive strategies, these SACCOs have made little or no effort to comprehend how they can gain and sustain a competitive advantage through adoption of strategies. This study aimed at evaluating strategies that SACCOs in Kiambu County apply to gain and sustain a competitive advantage that results to enhanced financial performance. The study adopted a descriptive survey design from a population of 400 SACCO staff members and directors. A cluster sampling technique was adopted where each selected SACCO formed a cluster from which the sample was drawn. A sample of 5 respondents were drawn from each of the 16 DT SACCOs registered under SASRA and headquartered in Kiambu County, which represented a 20% of the population. Primary data was obtained through questionnaires and interviews while secondary data was collected from Kiambu SACCO records, SASRA documentations and other Government organization records. To test for reliability of the study, the researcher used the test-retest reliability method and to guarantee questionnaire reliability. Validity of the study was guaranteed by inclusions of objective questions in the questionnaire and sampling them over a range of the sample. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel; the results were presented by the use of tables and figures. The study revealed a significant positive relationship between competitive strategies employed by SACCOs and the overall financial performance. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis done at 0.05% significance level showed that there a strong relationship between the competitive strategies applied by the SACCOs and the resulting financial performance. This therefore depicts that SACCOs in Kiambu County are employing competitive strategies as a sure way of increasing their financial performance over its rivals.