EFFECT OF GROWTH STRATEGIES ON THE COMPETITIVENESS OF FIRMS IN KENYAN CEMENT INDUSTRY: A CASE STUDY OF EAST AFRICAN PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
The business environment within which the cement producing firm East African Portland Cement Company Limited (EAPCC) operates has been vibrant and turbulent. Several changes that have had implications on EAPCC and other players in the industry have been witnessed in the past and are expected to influence companies’ actions in the medium and long-term. The study seeks to get an insight, understand and be able to describe the attitudes and opinions on the growth strategies and their effect on competitiveness of firms in respect to the modern-day challenges such as the increased demand for cement. This research was guided by the following objectives: effects of product development, market development, market penetration and the degree of diversification on the competitiveness of companies in the Kenyan cement industry. The study adopted descriptive research design. The sample size for the study was 150 participants which is approximately 10% of the total population of 1472. To address the research questions, primary data was collected by use of questionnaires and complemented by that obtained from various secondary sources. The data was analyzed by editing the raw data to free it from inconsistencies and incompleteness. The data was coded to establish how possible answers would be treated by assigning numerical values to them. The study found out that that growth strategies had enhanced increased efficiency and increased the company’s market share. However, the respondents were neutral on whether the growth strategies had enhanced increased production capacity, quality of the products and whether the company has been able to retain its key markets. The study concludes that the number of products and services the company have were not enough to keep it at a competitive edge in the volatile industry. The study also concludes that market development and diversification strategies have a positive effect on the competitiveness of EAPCC. The study recommends that the company should increase its products and diversify more as this would position it in a more competitive edge. The study also recommends that the company should continuously adopt modern technology in product development so as to enhance competitiveness of the organization.
Key Words: Growth Strategies, Firms Competitiveness
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