Sustainable competitive advantage among savings and credit co-operative societies in Nairobi county
In the current competitive business environment, survival depends on the organizations’ ability to effectively and efficiently utilize its internal resources while also continuously scanning the external environment to exploit the opportunities and minimize the threats. The interplay of both controllable and non controllable factors have a major influence on sustainable competitive advantage. This study aims at determining the factors influencing sustainable competitive advantage among SACCOs in Nairobi County. The primary data was collected using guided questionnaires with both closed and open ended questions. The secondary data was derived from financial statements, annual reports and relevant journals. These questionnaires were administered to the CEOs and departmental heads of selected SACCOs. The result was coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that even though there is intense competition within the financial sector, SACCOs can still have an edge over other competitors. This advantage can be sustained if they mobilize funds internally, improve on service delivery through adoption of modern technology, reduce costs of operation, employ competent staff, improve on governance and engage in aggressive marketing. Adherence to the regulatory requirements and prudential standards would instill confidence in the current and potential membership and project the right image. The study faced several challenges including time constraint, misunderstanding , misinterpreting some questions and fear by some CEOs of disclosing their strategies by responding to the questionnaires .The results of the study will assist the Government through the relevant ministries come up with policies that would facilitate a conducive environment for the promotion and growth of SACCOs. The Board of Directors and CEOs would have to design sustainable strategies that would make the SACCOs more competitive .The findings will provide knowledge on how organizations can create and benefit from competitive advantage and bring out the influence of organization’s resources, capabilities, costs, differentiated products, services and other factors on sustainable competitive advantage .A similar study should be carried out on SACCOs outside Nairobi county so that the findings can be generalized for SACCOs in Kenya.