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Julius Gatibu - Masters of Business Administration in Strategic Management, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. James Kilika - Department of Business Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya


The rapidly changing business climate created by advances in technologies, economic and social changes as well as fast-shortening product life cycles, which lead to hyper-competition, demands that firms embrace competitive intelligence as a strategy. The design of competitive intelligence, as a process that monitors all elements of the external environment of an organization is still recent. Commercial banks have thus resulted in making use of various competitive intelligence aspects to ensure profitability. Studies on competitive intelligence are generally limited. Although there are an expanding number of studies concerning the use of strategic information systems, the conducted studies are independent of competitive intelligence practices and performance of commercial banks in developing countries like Kenya. The main objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between competitive intelligence practices and performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The specific objectives were to establish how product intelligence practices, markets intelligence practices, technology intelligence practices and strategic intelligence influence performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The research was based on four theories; theory of strategic balancing, theory of network organization, Ansoff’s growth matrix and Porter’s generic strategy all explaining the orientation of a firm in the aspects that are strategically related to competitive intelligence strategies adopted by organizations. Empirical reviews were done on the four competitive intelligence strategies and how they influence performance thereby indicating research gaps. This research study applied the descriptive research design. The target population composed of the 191 management staffs employed at Equity Bank head offices in Nairobi. A sample of 25% was selected from within each group in proportions using stratified random sampling technique. This generated a sample of 48 respondents. The study used a survey questionnaire administered using a drop and pick later method.  The questionnaire had both open and close-ended questions. Data collected was purely quantitative and it was analysed by descriptive analysis. The descriptive statistical tools SPSS and MS Excel were used to extract frequencies, percentages, means and other central tendencies. Tables and figures will be used to summarize responses for further analysis and facilitate comparison. Karl Pearson’s coefficient of correlation and a multiple regression analysis were conducted to show the strength of the relationship between the variables. It was realized that majority of the commercial banks in Kenya have embraced Competitive intelligence practices and have a functional CI framework. Some of the practices include use of modern technology, total quality management for efficiency and effectiveness, competitor analysis, updated document management system and promoting efficiency and effectiveness in operations and strategizing on cost reduction and profit maximization. The CI practices help in cost saving, time saving, revenue enhancement, timely delivery of service and quality output. However, the challenges faced in its implementation, the CI function is used to monitor both internal and external business environment, analyse competition, identify economic trends, identify political and regulatory issues and assess new technology innovations. The study recommends that commercial banks should embrace competitive intelligence practices to enhance their performance in terms of revenue and profit margins coupled with customer/client base.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)