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Catherine Jepchieng Bowen - Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management), Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Linda Kimencu - Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Strategic alliances have recently become a common vehicle for organizational knowledge sharing and learning processes across boundaries within a country or beyond national boundaries in order to obtain valuable resources that a firm might be lacking. Towards establishment of the role of organizational alliances, the study sought to determine the effect of strategic alliance portfolio on the competitiveness of Cement manufacturing companies in Kenya. The study specific objectives was to establish the impact of alliance partner size, strength of partner ties, alliance portfolio structure and alliance knowledge sharing on the competitiveness of cement manufacturers in Kenya. The study is of value to both management practitioners, scholars and policy holders in the country since in the present day competitive business environment, it has been found that effective strategic alliance have a positive effect on the firm competitiveness. The scope of the study was limited to the six cement manufacturers in Kenya. The relevant theories to the study was the Resource Based View theory, Resource Dependency Theory and Porter’s theory of competitive advantage. The empirical studies covering the four independent variables were also discussed by evaluating what other researchers have accumulated on the variables. What is evident from the study is that the results on the effect of strategic alliance portfolio is mixed and most of the studies have been undertaken in advanced countries with limited in Kenya, Towards the realization of the research objectives, the study employed an explanatory research design while the population of the study was the six cement manufacturing firms in Kenya. The population of the study was all the senior and middle level managers in the respective cement firms. In total, the target population was 873 staff members occupying the middle and top management position in the cement firms. The researcher employed stratified and simple random sampling in selecting the respondents, with a total of 88 target respondents. The study used primary data collected using structured questionnaire that contained both open and closed ended questions. To improve on the research instrument reliability, a pilot test was undertaken to increase the instrument validity. Similarly, the researcher adopted probing technique on the respondents as well as making an effort to distribute the questionnaires to the most knowledgeable respondents in the organization. The collected data was analyzed by use of descriptive measures such as mean and standard deviation while the analyzed data was presented by table and graphs. To determine the relationship between the dependent and the independent variables, a simple regression analysis was established. The study revealed that cement manufacturing firms prefer that efficient configuration of the alliance is more important than the number of alliance partners thus choice of high quality partners is more critical than the physical number of partners in an alliance. Firm competitiveness was found to have been positively and significantly affected by strategic alliance portfolio practices. The researcher recommends that the cement manufacturing firms should adopt the strategic alliance portfolio because it has positive benefits such as providing superior customer service, easy access of information and knowledge transfer.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)