Analyzing Kenya's sugar industry competitiveness through Porter's diamond model
Organizational survival is dependent on the ability of the organization to adapt to a changing environment. Thus for an organization to meet its objectives, it has to provide goods and services driven by the whims of the target market. Porter (1990) developed the Diamond model of analysis that incorporates four major determinants; factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries and firm strategy, structure and rivalry in gauging competitiveness at various levels including specific industries. In other words, some industries, in a particular country, have strong diamonds, while others have weak ones. In addition to these four determinants of competitiveness, there are two indirect facets including chance and government. The Diamond model by Porter forms the conceptual framework that was used to study the sugar industry in Kenya. This study focused on analyzing the Kenyan sugar industry within the conceptual framework on Porter's Diamond model and involved a crosssectional survey on the state of operations among the existing seven millers in the Kenyan sugar industry. Primary data was collected through the use of semi-structure questionnaires administered on the CEOs or departmental heads of the companies through personal interviews to record responses relating to the various variables in the sugar industry. The questions were divided into several sub-headings with the first one specifically targeted at gathering data about the general background of the firms. The subsequent subheadings looked at aspects of competitiveness and strategies employed and the challenges facing their attainment. The final sub-headings of the questionnaire consisted of mainly closed questions, which sought information on the determinants of Porter's Diamond model as a tool to testing industry competitiveness. Upon the conclusion of information gathering, analysis of data was done to determine if any relationships exist (and the strength of such relationships) between industry characteristics such as services offered and socio/economic factors such as age of company, size determined by number of employees and type of ownership. This was done using simple percentages. These findings point to a major weakness on the determinant of factor conditions while demand conditions and chances is quiet strong. This technically means that the state of extreme variations in the state of the determinants cannot allow for an effective operation of the Kenyan sugar industry as one Diamond. One weak determinant pulls down the performance of the rest on the diamond.