Perceived influence of competitive strategies on the competitive advantage of Kenya post office savings bank
The strategy an organization implements should be directed towards building strengths in areas that satisfy the wants and needs of consumers and other actors in the organizations‟ external environment. The study sought to examine the perceived influence of competitive strategies on the competitive advantage of Kenya Post Office Savings Bank. The study adopted a case study research design and was guided by the following objective; determine the perceived influence of competitive strategies on the competitive advantage of Kenya Post Office Savings Bank. The study utilized primary data which was collected through a face to face interview with the researcher. An interview guide containing a set of questions was prepared. Seven managers were interviewed. Qualitative data was obtained and was analyzed using Content analysis. The study found that in a bid to build its core competencies, KPOSB has been applying the following competitive strategies in its operations: customer-centricity, branch network strategy, technology and process innovation, differentiation and service strategy. As a result of adopting these competitive approaches, KPOSB has been able to enjoy the following competitive advantages; provision of diverse banking services, improved quality of service delivery, enhanced productivity, transaction cost reduction, improved customer satisfaction and low cost advantages. In addition, the bank‟s competitive strategies have enhanced customer contact which has facilitated market intelligence and enabled the bank keep pace with the dynamic customer demands in a bid to stay ahead of the competitors in the market. The study concluded that Kenya Post Office Savings Bank has successfully adopted and implemented diverse competitive strategy practices that have positively affected the competitive advantage of the bank making it a market leader in Kenya. The study recommends that banks and other firms embrace diverse competitive strategies in their operations in order to enhance firm and national competitiveness. The researcher appreciated that a study of this nature should include a survey of sizeable number of banking institutions however time and material resources did not make that feasible. The study period was also a bit constrained as the researcher had to balance the employer‟s expectations and the research work in order to minimize role strain. The study recommends that future research efforts should focus on the challenges and critical success factors in the adoption and implementation of competitive strategies across the financial sector in Kenya and on identification of an optimal competitive strategy model tailored to the Kenyan context.