Role of strategic business networking for competitive advantage in the floriculture firms in Lower Eastern Region, Kenya
The present day business environment is characterized with ever - accelerating developments and their direct impact on productivity improvements, making many floriculture firms to radically re-thinking their strategies and how to implement them. Many floriculture firms have adopted various strategies such as strategic business alliances, diversification, mergers and acquisitions. Globalization has made it strategically important for floriculture firms to be able to work closely with other floriculture firms across corporate and geographic borders. The objective of the study was to determine the role of strategic business network for competitive advantage in the floriculture firms in lower eastern region; Kenya. The study adopted a cross sectional survey research design. The population of the study all the seven floriculture firms with their operations in the Lower Eastern Region, Kenya. The study used primary data collected through self-administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software and presented using percentages, tables and graphs. The findings of the study were that all the floriculture firms use strategic business networking. The success of strategic business networking among the firms was as a result of planning, clearly understood roles, clearly defined, shared goals and objectives, communication between partners: maintaining relationships, senior management are committed, frequent performance feedback, maintaining broad strategic vision and managers create an environment of trust. The benefits of floriculture firms pursuing strategic business networking was found to be increased access to markets, better resource utilization, synergy and competitive advantage, improve organizational learning, flexibility development, financial risks sharing, firm’s innovation process contribution and shortening of development cycles. The study found out that strategic business networking enables floriculture firms to achieve competitive advantage through unique resources, superior quality of services, unique corporate culture, speed of offering services, flexibility, added value, products and service diversity, strategic alliances that enables the floriculture firms to access complementary resources and skills that reside in other floriculture firms, creation and sustaining fruitful collaborations and managing strategic business alliances more than competitors.