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Mjomba Zarangwa Veronica - Master of Business Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya

James Maina Rugami - Lecturer School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Corporate Social Responsibility refers to operating a business in a manner that accounts for the social and environmental impact created by the business. Corporate social responsibility programmes are applicable to virtually all organizations and banks are more sensitive to these programmes as they have to strive to satisfy a multiplicity of stakeholders. Equity bank Kenya limited participates in corporate social responsibility activities through its Equity group foundation. The objective of the study was to establish the relationship between CSR and competitive advantage of Equity bank Kenya limited. The research independent variables were education sponsorship program, financial literacy training, entrepreneurship education program, environment conservation activities and agriculture program. The study methodology was descriptive and exploratory research design. The population of the study comprised of one hundred and seventy three branch managers drawn across all the regions. Stratified random sampling technique was used to divide the population into regions then simple random sampling was used to select the sample size of eighty eight managers which is fifty percent of target population. Primary data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire self-administered to the managers using drop and pick method and online delivery. Cronbach alpha and pilot test were used to test the validity and reliability of the research instrument. Quantitative data collected was analysed by use of descriptive and inferential statistics. Version 20.0 of SPSS was used in data analysis. Regression analysis established the relative importance of the variables while correlation determined the relationship between CSR and competitive advantage of equity bank Kenya limited. Qualitative data presentation was done by use of thematic summaries while quantitative data was presented in form of tabulation, frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation. The study findings indicate that all branches participate in at least one initiative of CSR with education sponsorship program and entrepreneurship education program receiving much engagement compared to the other initiatives. Findings show that CSR is an important component to different stakeholders of the bank with local community scoring the highest. The study established that Education sponsorship program improve the Bank’s brand reputation while financial literacy training and entrepreneurship education program promotes the Bank’s customer retention. Agriculture programs and environment conservation activities enhance the Banks stakeholder relationships. The results indicate that the bank has adopted CSR as a strategic pillar to grow and sustain its business growth thus sustainable competitive advantage, to the bank CSR is not only an avenue for showing its softer side of the business but it also offers an opportunity to build a strong brand reputation, improve customer retention, customer loyalty and promote a strong stakeholder bond which drive the business growth. The study recommends that adoption of the CSR initiatives be encouraged in order to drive competitive advantage and present the bank as an important and beneficial entity to the society at large and for policy makers to consider incorporating more stakeholders in driving the corporate social responsibility agenda to build belief in the brand reputation and promote the banks sustenance.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)