Factors influencing competitive advantage among commercial Banks in Kenya
,Gitonga, Catherine G
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The purpose of this study was to establish the factors that influence competitive advantages among commercial banks in Kenya and determine the advantages such factors provide to the various commercial banks. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data while secondary data was collected from the Websites, Strategic Plans and the Audited Financial Statements of the commercial banks. Data was analyzed using SPSS and presented in piecharts, bar charts and frequency distribution tables. The major findings of the study indicated that competition among commercial banks in Kenya is quite stiff and most players have attained competitive advantages through product and service differentiation in terms of cost and customer experiences. The banks have also invested heavily in technological products, processes and institutional changes. Thirdly, the commercial banks have invested in training programmes and employee empowerment practices. The main conclusions were that commercial banks in Kenya are in very stiff competition and have almost uniformly adopted competitive strategies ranging from superior products and services, technological assets, high quality of human resources and responsiveness to the business environment. The researcher recommends internal mechanisms to spur generation of competitive strategies and tighter regulations from the Central Bank of Kenya to ensure fair competition and guard against exploitation of the consumers. The researcher suggests that a similar study be carried out targeting junior staff to get their perspective of the competitive strategies employed by commercial banks in Kenya.