The influence of competitive strategies on the performance of international schools offering the British National Curriculum (BNC) in Nairobi, Kenya
As many organisations seek to fight competition in the local market place, many of them have had to adopt different competitive strategies in order to attract, retain customers and improve on their performance. This study was done to establish the influence of competitive strategies on the performance of International Schools offering the British National Curriculum in Nairobi,Kenya.The objectives of the study were: To establish competitive strategies adopted by BNC schools in Nairobi and to establish the influence of competitive strategies on performance of the BNC schools in Nairobi. A survey research design was used in this study to investigate Competitive strategies (i.e. differentiation, focus and cost leadership) and their effects on the Performance of schools offering the BNC in Kenya. The research area was Kenya with Nairobi environs as the main target area and the population of the study consisted of 16 schools offering BNC in Kenya. The key target respondents included school heads and school deputy heads drawn from the respective schools surveyed. A total of 13 ofthe 16 (total population) questionnaires sent to the sample were retumed, which represented a response rate of 81~. Data on performance covered performance of International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), student enrolments as compared to capacity and growth rate of the schools in terms of school's facility and staff numbers. School heads. The research used descriptive statistics to analyse data and present fmdings. Employing competent and qualified staff was the most employed strategy designed to attract students. Specializing in meeting certain needs of learners as compared to competitors, coupled with targeting high income earners, are the two key strategies employed by the various schools surveyed with regard to drawing students. With regards to the costs and fees, allowing payments of fees in installments and using fees as a key positioning of the respective schools, besides developing organizational cost efficiency, are the main strategies employed by the various schools surveyed. To determine if there was a statistically significant association between differentiation, focus and cost leadership, a Pearson's correlation analysis was computed. Differentiation had the highest contribution to the schools' performance. It was followed by focus strategy and the last was the cost leadership strategy. It is recommended that Management of International Schools should enhance their differentiation strategies since they greatly contribute to the general performance of the schools. To build competitive advantage through differentiation, a firm must search out . sources of uniqueness that are burdensome and time-consuming for rivals to match. The schools should appeal to customers with a special sensitivity for a particular product and service attribute which in tum help build customer loyalty.