Strategies adopted by private hospitals in Nairobi to gain competitive advantage
The ability of firms to survive in the business environment is dependent upon their selection and implementation of a competitive strategy that differentiates the firm from competitors. The business strategy perspective argues that achieving competitive advantage hinges on pursing a coherent competitive strategy. Strategists aver that firms should have the inside to outside approach, whereby strategies are realigned towards making of goods and services that cultivate their own niche in the market and form structures that sustain those markets. Markets are points of exit for the firm's products, and through measures like advertising and adoption of appropriate strategy, new markets are opened. The research objective of the study was to establish the strategies adopted by private hospitals in Nairobi to gain competitive advantage. The research design for the study was a survey of all private hospitals operating in Nairobi. Data was collected using a questionnaire which consisted of both open and closed ended questions. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and classified, tabulated and summarized using descriptive measures, percentages and frequency distribution tables and graphs. The study established that in order to gain competitive advantage, the hospitals used differentiation, focus, cost leadership strategies. They also improve the quality of services being offered, using uninterrupted power and water supply e.g provision of generator and large storage tanks and opening of more branches across the country. In order to counter threats and maintain competitiveness, the hospitals analyzed the threats posed by new entrants, substitute products, power of buyers, power of suppliers and competition from other hospitals. The study concludes that the hospitals need to understand their operating environment sufficiently so that they can come up with strategies which will enable them to gain competitive advantage. The hospitals need to continue incorporating all the employees in the formulation and implementation of the strategies so that they all feel to he part and parcel of the process. The hospitals also need to adopt only strategies which will minimize the costs the hospitals incur.