Strategic partnerships and performance of Equity Bank in Kenya
This era of dynamic innovations steered by technology and changing customer needs require leaders to be on top of the game in aligning organizations to take advantage of the opportunities that emerge with the changes. At the same time, there is a greater need to assess capabilities and identify ways of leveraging on resources which can be availed in the marketplace. This is true for both goods and services industries because they meet almost similar conditions in the business environment. The public sector and development agencies as well, operate in a dynamic environment necessitating focus on leveraging on private sector resources and capabilities to manage scarce resource against the increasing national and global social economic needs. Strategy remains the vehicle that helps organizations to navigate the changing environment. Strategic partnership is one of those strategies that support organizations to remain sustainable and globally competitive. The traditional business to business partnerships have seen emergence of public private partnerships outside the domain of partnerships for infrastructure. The emerging public private partnerships have wider range of stakeholders covering a wider scope of sectors to address the challenges brought about by social economic factors. The arrangements for business to business partnerships are driven by the need to maximize returns to shareholders while the development driven partnerships have the objective of providing innovative solutions to social economic needs. This study adopted descriptive research design. Primary data was used in the study and was obtained by use of an interview guide that was administered to managers who were interviewed at Equity Bank and partner organizations. These included managers who manage the partnership relationships and Director of special Projects. From the partnering organizations, the project managers were interviewed. The collected data was analysed by use of content analysis technique. This technique brings out the salient issues that make strategic partnerships work and how the concept of strategic partnership relates with performance. The study findings established that strategic partnerships between Equity Bank and its partner organizations improve the staff capacity and thus enables it to be well equipped in handling the challenges they experienced and therefore improving on its service delivery. The findings further established that partnerships enhance new customer acquisition through the creation of portfolio funds where customers can take loans and pay back. From the study findings, it can be concluded that even though banks enjoy a lot of benefits from strategic partnerships, they also equally encounter challenges. This study therefore concludes with the view that strategic partnerships have benefits in major ways and that this concept should be employed by organizations in order to survive and sustain their operations in the competitive environment. The study provides more empirical information about strategic partnerships and how they relate to organizational performance. The study further provides knowledge on the emerging trends in public private strategic partnerships and how they incorporate a wide range of sectors and stakeholders. It can therefore be useful to governments, academic institutions, development agencies, private organizations and even civil society as they all try to manage their organizations and prepare for future challenges brought about by the environments in which they operate.