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THE LINK BETWEEN STRATEGY AND KEY INDUSTRY SUCCESS FACTORS AMONG COMMERCIAL BANKS IN KENYA

The banking industry is characterized by intense competition due to the dynamic changes in
customer expectations, awareness and demands. The industry environment is fairly stable due
to the favorable macro-economic conditions and stringent supervisory oversight by the Central
Bank of Kenya. This study was carried out in Nairobi, Kenya in the month of March, 2009.
The objective was to establish the key industry success factors in the banking industry and to
determine whether commercial banks in Kenya leverage strategies on the key industry success
factors. By establishing the key industry success factors the banks can effectively devote
resources on developing strategies that are aligned and leveraged on the identified key industry
success factors so as to gain and maintain sustainable competitive advantage to create an edge
that would significantly impact on their operational performance hence profitability.
The survey focused on all commercial banks in Kenya. Primary data was gathered through selfadministered
questionnaires to senior managers in the banks, while secondary data was gathered
from the Central Bank of Kenya, and from various banking and financial reports. Descriptive
statistics were used to analyze the data. The findings of this study indicate that the key success
factors in the banking industry have been dynamic. The key industry success factors in the
banking industry are mainly leadership, wide product range, employment of modern technology,
packaging and imaging (branding), convenience to customers and business location and
distribution. This is in agreement with empirical studies from the developed world and
available theoretical literature which postulates that success factors in an industry may be many,
but key ones or those with strongest effects are few. The findings are also in agreement with
empirical studies that the key industry success factors are important in implementing strategies
of a company as strategies must be leveraged on these success factors to achieve
competitiveness. For this reason, banks have realized the significance of the link between key
industry success factors and strategy by continuously identifying the key success factors and
aligning them with strategy to remain focused and competitive.
The Central Bank of Kenya, commercial banks in Kenya and academicians will benefit from the
findings of this study. Banks will be able to continuously scan the environment for emerging
industry success factors and capitalize on them to improve and maintain their competitive
position. The banks will also ensure that their strategies are leveraged on the key industry
success factors for effective operational performance, profitability and success in the unstable
industry environment

 

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Dr. Mose Aranga

Assistant Coordinator

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