Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies and Competitive Advantage of Soft Drink Manufacturers in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Kivayilu, Derek Kilwaye
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Competitive advantage is of the goals as to why firms exist in a any given industry. However, it is not easy for the firm to gain competitive advantage as there are turbulences in the environment with high levels of competition in different industries. The manufacturing sector is one such competitive industry that require firms to constantly adopt different strategies to remain viable. Therefore, the current study sought to determine the effect of corporate social responsibility strategies on competitive advantage of soft drinks manufacturing firms in Nairobi County in Kenya. Specifically, the study looked at education programs, community livelihood improvement, health and environment activities and partnering for progress and their influence on competitive advantage of soft drink manufacturers in Nairobi. The resource dependency theory, community development theory, stakeholder theory and classical liberal theory provided anchorage to the study. This study adopted a descriptive research design while targeting 68 public relation managers from soft drink and water-manufacturing firms in Nairobi. A census was used where all the 68 public relation managers from soft drink manufacturing firms were included in the study. Data for the study was primary and it was gathered using questionnaire. In order to achieve content validity, the supervisor reviewed the items on the questionnaire to establish whether they were aligned with Corporate Social Responsibility strategies and competitive advantage. For face validity, the items on the questionnaire were subjectively assessed by the supervisor to ensure that they measured corporate social responsibility strategies and competitive advantages. For reliability, the study used Cronbach Alpha coefficients where the value 0.7 was used for decisions making. The determined values of Cronbach Alpha were all above 0.7 showing the instrument were reliable. The findings of the study were summarized using descriptive statistics like means and standard deviations and analysed using inferential statistics in the form of regression analysis. The results were presented using tables and figures. The study established that education programs, health and environmental corporate social responsibility, livelihood protection and partnering for progress all have positive and significant effect on competitive advantage of the firm. The study concludes that education programs are key drivers of competitive advantage of the firm. Community livelihood improvement helps soft drink manufacturing firms to remain competitive. Recognition of health and environment activities helps soft drink manufacturing firms to remain competitive. Partnering for progress with the community directly helps the firm to remain competitive. The study recommends that soft drink manufacturing firms in Kenya should understand and realize the need and value of investing in education CSR strategies as this is directly linked to competitive advantage including increased market share. The implications of these findings are that manufacturers of soft drinks should continuously leverage on corporate social responsibility strategies in order to remaining competitive in their industry.