Innovation as a strategy for developing competitive advantage Among food processing firms in Mombasa county, Kenya
Mohdhar, Hamza M
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Developing that special edge in business firms may mean survival for some or a way to stay on top of competition for others. A critical ingredient for staying on top is innovation. To be innovative is seeing things from new angles, having broad perspectives, taking risks and being flexible. The food processing firms are not an exception to this regard. This sector offers employment both directly and indirectly to a vast majority of residents in the entire country and is a source of livelihoods for many. The increasing significance of innovation in these firms therefore is of paramount importance to the development of sustainable competitive advantage. The overall objective of the study was to determine the application of innovation as a strategy for developing competitive advantage among food processing firms in Mombasa County. This study was guided by various theoretical and literature reviews. This was a crosssectional survey research. The study used primary data which was collected using a semistructured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics data analysis methods were employed to analyze the quantitative data obtained. The study found out that the need to improve product quality and extend product range as among the main factors influencing the adoption of innovation as a strategy for developing competitive advantage. Most of the information on innovation was obtained by these firms from external clients or customers and business competitors. The factors that prevent the firms from attaining the full benefits of innovation in terms of the attainment of competitive advantage are cost related. The findings revealed that the costs associated with innovation are too high and these firms lack adequate financial sources. In light of the findings, the study recommends that these firms should focus more on market research so as to have a strong base for innovation. Information technology and any technological advancement should be well incorporated in these firms for innovation sustainability.