Critical success factors in the implementation of strategic alliances for mobile financial services by telecommunication companies in Kenya
Strategic alliances pool specific resources and skills by the cooperating organizations in order to achieve common goals as well as goals specific to the individual partners. The study key focus was to investigate the critical success factors in the implementation of strategic alliances for mobile financial services by telecommunication companies in Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design and was guided by one objective; to investigate the critical success factors in the implementation of strategic alliances for mobile financial services by telecommunication companies in Kenya. Both primary and secondary data was utilized in the study. Primary data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire while secondary data was obtained from online published reports of these firms. A 5-point Likert scale was used to measure the output of each item answered by the participants. The respondents in the study were from all the SBU in various telecommunications companies in Kenya. The study adopted a census approach because of the small number of telecommunication firms (MNOs) in Kenya. From the target population of all the SBUs comprising of 105 strategic managers a 30% Proportionate Stratified Sample (31 managers) were selected for the study. Descriptive statistics were used to describe (and analyse) the variables numerically. These included: simple means; standard deviations and correlation analysis by use of SPSS version 21. The study concludes that various critical success factors adopted by the mobile financial service providers have had a significant effect on the implementation of strategic alliances among the firms. The study further concludes that most of the telecommunication firms in Kenya have entered into some form of strategic alliances in the recent past underpinning the centrality of strategic alliance as a core competence strategy. According to the study, partner matching, strategic orientation, value creation and value creating partners constitute the four main categories of critical success factors in the implementation of strategic alliances for mobile financial service by the telecommunication companies in Kenya. Accordingly, e-payment and transaction banking are the main forms of strategic alliances adopted for mobile financial services by the MNOs in Kenya. The study recommends that Kenyan firms need to adopt the critical success factors to a large extent given the fact that strategic alliances constitute a major competitive strategy in today’s globalized market. The study further recommends that firms in Kenya need to foster collaborative approaches beyond strategic alliances to tap into the economies of integration. According to the study, there is need for private and public finance policy makers should focus on the scope and functionality of a strategic implementation framework specifically tailored to the Kenyan macro-environment to enhance organizational performance. The study was limited to the extent that, a study of this magnitude should have included a survey of a sizeable number of firms. However time and material resources did not make this feasible. On the other hand, the study period was a little bit narrow for a study of this nature posing a major hindrance particularly in ensuring that the research work did not hamper the performance and productivity of the researcher at the work place. The study recommends further research efforts to identify optimal strategic alliance models and on the possibility of setting benchmarks.