Partnerships In International Operations And Competitive Advantage Of Multichoice Kenya Limited
Partnership is an agreement between two organizations to pool together their resources to pursue mutually beneficial objectives. Many global organizations have adopted partnership as an entry strategy into new markets. However, partnerships have also been adopted as an international business operations model. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which Multichoice Kenya Limited, a market leader in the video entertainment industry in Kenya, has adopted partnerships in its operations and to determine the contribution it has on its competitiveness. The study adopted a case study approach that employed interview guide to get information from the functional heads of the eight departments of Multichoice Kenya Limited. The functional managers were suitable for this study since they were responsible for the various key performance indicators in their departments and had prerogative over the partners in their functions. The results were captured and translated into texts. Content analysis method was used to analyze the data. The study established that partnerships existed across the different functional departments at Multichoice Kenya Limited. The partners were both exclusive and non-exclusive. The exclusive partnerships were put in place in circumstances where a conflict of interest would be detrimental to the competitiveness of the company. The non-exclusive partnerships were employed in activities that did not jeopardize the success of the company and which would provide the company the advantage of gathering intelligence about the industry. The partners were drawn from IT service, Human Resource Staffing, Call Center Management, Manufacturing, Content Production, Sales, Audit, Distribution and Public Relations industries. The partners were both domestic and global in operations scope. It is evident from the study, that the partnerships contributed positively to the competitiveness of Multichoice Kenya Limited through the enhancement of brand equity in the market, provision of quality customer care services, enhancing differentiation, facilitation of product availability, knowledge, technology and skills sharing, as well as innovation. It can be concluded that partnerships are significant in the attainment of a superior position in the market provided that the company defines the strategic vision and incorporates the right partner. The choice of partner, the capability of the partner and the commonality of objectives provide a good recipe for success of partnerships. It is recommended that the companies put in place strict measures to safeguard information sharing in the partnerships to curb unwarranted disclosure to external third parties.
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