Effects of competitive advantage on organizational effectiveness in higher education institutions: a case of Kabarak University

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Rabah, Kefa
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Kenyatta University
Today competitiveness has permeated from local to global businesses of all sorts. Moreover, in recent years, almost all of the organizations, if not all are involved with some form of competition, if not for customers, then for gaining advantage on the utilization of scarce resources, strategic management has become the key critical factor to succeed in this endeavor. Higher education managers need to implement, sustainable strategies that can develop, enhance and sustain, competitive advantage. The purpose of this study is to examine how competitive strategies can be successfully developed and implemented in HEI’s, in this case, Kabarak University. The study will examine how HEIs formulate their competitive strategies by taking into account the influence of the external environment, build and exploit their internal resources, capabilities and routines to position their business in the higher education industry and use stakeholders to gain and sustain competitive advantage to achieve their desired market, organization effectiveness and success. The study will be guided by four theoretical approaches; the Porter's theories of competitiveness, the theory of the resources and capabilities (RBV), the Delta Model, and the Stakeholders theory. Further, the study will also seek to examine the organizational effectiveness of higher educational institutions (HEIs), and which should be seen as one of the response to the worldwide pressure higher educational establishments to provide evidence of effective performance (Pounder, 1997). Within this framework, research will be conducted with a view to: (i) identify the elements and indicators of competitive advantage as they apply specifically to private higher education institutions (PHEIs); (ii) analyze the types of strategies undertaken by PHEIs institutions to best fit with their internal and external environments; (iii) ascertain the major factors of external industry structure, internal resources, and institutional performance; (iv) examine the relationships between external industry structure, internal resources, and strategy types with institutional performance; and (v) develop components and indicators for organizational effectiveness and work out its measurements in the context of Kenya's PHEI. This research will seek to determine to what degree does the institutional effectiveness allow private HEIs to operate in a sustained manner over long period of time while meeting the needs of their stakeholders. The study will apply both descriptive and explanatory research design with a survey strategy. Simple random sampling technique will be used for this study where a comprehensive survey of the all population will be conducted of the entire University's senior administrative staff. Data will be collected using structured questionnaires and unstructured questionnaire. A pilot test will be conducted to test reliability of the research instruments. The data will be coded and analyzed using the SPSS for descriptive statistical analysis; means, frequencies, percentages and standard deviations and correlation analysis will be conducted to test the relationship between the variables. The results will be presented using tables accompanied by their associated interpretations.
A research proposal submitted to the school of business for the partial fulfilment for the requirements of the degree of Master of Business Administration (strategic management options) of Kenyatta University. July 2015