Competitive Strategies Adopted by Universities in Kenya
In a competitive industry, there exist various players pitied against each other in a game that is, seeking competitive advantage. The higher education industry in Kenya in not any different, the various players are in the form of the individual, with each seeking to make critical decisions on which competitive strategy to adopt that will guarantee better payoffs. The objectives of the study were to determine the forces that define competition in the higher education sector, and to determine the competitive strategies adopted by universities in Kenya, established between the years 2012 to 2015. The study was underpinned on the game theory and the strategic conflicts theory. A cross-sectional census survey study was carried out on universities established between the years 2012 and 2015. Primary data was collected by administering structured questionnaires to the top management of the institutions by mail. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study were found to be consistent with existing theory on the forces that define competition. Industry factors were found to affect the universities under study to a higher extent than macro environment forces. Further, the generic strategies were found to be adopted to a higher extent than the grand strategies. Differentiation and integration were found to be the most adopted strategies from the two groups of strategies. It was concluded that the strategies adopted were largely generic strategies and that the forces that define competition were largely industry forces. It was recommended that universities analyze their environments both internal and external and forecast changes to enable choice of the best strategy. Limitations to the study included the generalization of the findings for public and private universities, and limitation of the cross sectional survey over longer periods of time. The researcher proposed further studies in the areas of limitation of the study.
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