Innovation orientation and competitive advantage in Safaricom Telecommunication Company
Innovation orientations are key to survival and success of any business that anticipate developing and implementing strategies to effectively dispel competitive forces. Safaricom continues to lead in the telecommunication industry partly due to its large number of component of innovation orientation towards developed a variety of services and products. The research sought to establish the effect of innovation orientation on competitive advantage at Safaricom Telecommunication Company. The study adopted a case study research design because the unit of analysis is one organization – Safaricom Telecommunication Company. The sample size for the study will be 359 employees. The study used of primary data collected through a questionnaire targeting selected employees of Safaricom limited from the identified departments. Quantitative data was analyzed through techniques of measures of central tendency, the relevant measure of dispersion (mean and standard deviation) where relevant. To facilitate conceptualization of the research outcome and findings, the information was presented in tables through proportions and percentages. The study found out that design of goods and services aims at complying with the legal requirements, make the products and services satisfy the needs of the end user, enable the organization to achieve competitive advantage and minimize cost of product and/or service delivery. The study established that there was a system for collecting employees’ opinions and those employees understand their duties and are never idle, fully understand the goals, policies and objectives of the organization. The study also revealed that the organization uses computer software to manage its inventory, places orders at specific times in the year, costs determine the amount of goods to be ordered and orders are placed depending on prior agreements with suppliers. The study also revealed that maintenance was done regularly when there is less work and there was regular inspection of products and facilities. The study concludes that understanding customer needs was the key in boosting the success levels of products in the market and that innovation orientation such as design of goods and services, process and capacity design played a role in the company’s competitive advantage. This research recommends that the innovation orientation should continue being used as a key avenue for creating competitive advantage in the Safaricom Company limited as it was demonstrated that it actually and continually accrued market strength, firms should prioritize in ensuring product range extension, replacement, improvement, repositioning and new product introduction. This will ensure that firms adjust to new and improved technology in order to survive in the fast changing innovations making markets more competitive. Due to the veil of confidentiality surrounding the company, most of the respondents were reluctant to participate and Due to their busy work schedules, the respondents were not willing to participate the researcher gave them ample time to fill the questionnaires. The study recommends that further research can be carried out on innovation orientation in telecommunication companies in Kenya and the influence on competitive advantage so as to establish a greater understanding by widening the research field.
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