Strategy Implementation and the Competitive Advantage of Firms in the Airline Industry in Kenya
Strategy implementation is an integral part of the strategic management process as it entails converting the formulated strategy into action. Managers who successfully implement their strategies enjoy competitive advantage over organizations with managers who are less competent in implementing strategy. The purpose of this study was to establish strategy implementation and the competitive advantage of the firms in the airline industry in Kenya. The research adopted a cross-sectional survey and used structured questionnaires to collect information from top managers from the 15 locally registered airlines in Kenya. Data collected was presented using tables and figures and was analyzed in Microsoft Excel 2007 version. The results confirm that for an entity to achieve competitive advantage in the industry, Management needs to identify the effective strategies to be adopted for maximum returns to the organization. The study also confirms that the management needs to have a due diligence on both internal and external environmental factors and their impacts to the organization in its bid to gain competitive advantage in the industry. This is because the various factors have different levels of impact and return to the organization hence management need to establish how best to take advantage of each of the factors for maximum returns to the organization. The study recommends that policy makers and management in airlines pay close attention to cost leadership and market penetration as these are the strategies being effectively implemented in successful airlines in Kenya. Key to this is management of the external factors, rivalry within the industry and the bargaining power of suppliers as these were found to be the two highest factors influencing competitive advantage in the industry. The management then needs to design an implementation matrix that combines both internal and external factors that consistently ensures maximum returns to the organization. Researchers should delve further into the relationship between strategies implemented, competitive advantage and financial performance of airlines in Kenya.
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