The relationship between corporate social responsibility practices and competitive advantage in Universities in Kenya
With growing social awareness of corporate social responsibility within the last decades, companies face increasing pressures to address the objectives of various stakeholders, beyond those of shareholders and legal requirements and to create shared value. The increasing adoption of CSR activities is however constrained by the limited resources and capabilities that firms possess. This raises the question of which stakeholders and which CSR activities firms should prioritize when designing their CSR strategy. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between CSR practices and competitive advantage in Universities in Kenya. This was a descriptive survey of public and private universities in Kenya. All the 39 universities were targeted from which 25 took part in the survey. Primary data was collected using questionnaires which were administered to those in charge of CSR in the universities. Analysis was done using descriptive, correlation and OLS regression analysis. The results were presented in tables and charts. The study found that the most significant CSR initiatives were in environment, society and education. The study revealed that the sources of competitive advantage for universities were brand name, strong research agenda, courses offered, and management styles. The study found that there was a positive and significant relationship between CSR initiatives in environment and competitive advantage, p < 0.05. The results of the regression analysis also showed that CSR initiatives among society members have a positive and significant impact on their competitive advantages, p < .01. It was also found that CSR initiatives in education had positive and slightly significant effects on the competitive advantage of universities in Kenya, p < 0.1. The study concludes that universities in Kenya are focusing more on educational and environmental issues as their corporate social responsibility initiatives. The study further concludes that there is a positive and significant effect of CSR initiatives in environment, education, and society on the competitive advantage of universities in Kenya. The study recommends that universities should focus on more CSR activities as evidence suggests that such initiatives lead to better competitive advantage for such institutions. In this regard, they should focus more on environment, education, and society initiatives.