Responses by Barclays bank of Kenya limited to challenges of competitive forces
This study was set out to investigate responses by Barclays Bank of Kenya limited to challenges of competitive forces. Competition in most global product markets is intense. The turbulent marketplace and the competitive forces create many opportunities and challenges. Often managers define challenges by competitive forces too narrowly as if it occurred only among today’s direct competitors. Yet competition for profits goes beyond established industry rivals to include four other competitive forces namely customers, suppliers, potential entrants, and substitute products. The extended rivalry that results from all five forces defines an industry’s structure and shapes the nature of competitive interaction within an industry. The strongest competitive force or forces determines the profitability of an industry and becomes the most important when formulating strategy. The research adopted a case study design, which is most appropriate in the investigation of the responses by Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited to challenges of competitive forces. The study selected 15 informants as heads of departments at Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited using simple random sampling.The heads of departments were subjected to the study through an interview guide which collected primary data.Secondary data was collected from published reports, the banking industry’s publications, periodical and newspapers. The informants indicated that the greatest competitive force facing Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited was the environment. Other competitive factors were identified as capital adequacy and cost of the funds, training of the employees, interest rates, product range, innovation, technology, customer service, branch network, image, level of service, location, target market, competitors, legislation, and motivation. To respond to these challenges Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited has implemented a superior operating system and platforms through parental support where it was needed. They have increased their branch network so as to reach more customers in the market. Internal changes the bank has adopted to respond to challenges of competitive forces in the market include staff training, rotation and rewarding systems for better performance to motivate the staff and be able to retain the best in the market. There has been the adoption of an objective outlook on deals on a case by case basis even for high risk sectors. Further research should be undertaken to research on responses to the challenges of competitive forces in other sectors of the economy such as tourism coffee, tea, fisheries and even services such as education and construction. The study should also be extended to establish the responses to the challenges of competitive forces in other related sectors in the industry such as the microfinance institutions. Research should be undertaken to determine what strategies other companies in different related industries use to combat the challenges of competitive forces. The study was limited in that it included respondents from one sector and conclusions drawn may not be representative of other industries. It also captured members of the one focus group excluding other important stakeholders from the study.