STRATEGIC POSITION AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE BREWING INDUSTRY IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA
This study was prompted by the desire to investigate the strategic position and competitive advantage in brewing industry South-East, Nigeria. It sought to: determine the effect of strategic position on the competitive advantage in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria; ascertain the relationship between the business policy and strategy and the knowledge acquisition in the brewing industry in South-East Nigeria; examine the impact of strategy and structure on the training in the brewing industry in South-East Nigeria; determine the influence of the leadership on the multinational management in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria and ascertain the effect of corporate culture on the management of diversity in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria. The population of the study was 750 staff of the four functional breweries in South-East Nigeria, namely; Nigerian Breweries Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Hero Breweries Plc and Continental Breweries Plc. The sample size of 750 was obtained using a Census rather than sampling. Stratified sampling was used to select respondents in each of the brewing industry. Data was collected using the researcher – developed questionnaire and oral interview guide. A test retest was done using Cronbach’s alpha, giving a coefficient of 0.82, indicating a high degree of items consistency. It was found that Strategic position had a positive effect on the competitive advantage in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria (r = 0.772, p < 0.05); Business policy and strategy had a significant positive relationship with the knowledge acquisition in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria (r = 0.948, p < 0.05); Strategy and structure had a positive impact on the training in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria (r = 0.799, p < 0.05); Leadership had a positive influence on the multinational management in the brewing industry in South-East, Nigeria (r = 0.916, p < 0.05); and Corporate culture had a positive effect on the management diversity in the brewing industry in South-East (r = 0.906, p < 0.05); Nigeria. Based on the findings the study recommended that Management should continually and continuously design policies that enhance the strategic position of organisations; Knowledge acquisition should be of paramount importance in brewing organisations in south east Nigeria. This will ensure that these organisations are equipped with the requisite knowledge and current global practices in brewing industries; Business policy and strategy of brewing organisations should be formulated to ensure that it is focused on achieving competitive advantage; The strategy and structure of the brewing organisations should be targeted at ensuring that there is continuous training and retraining of employees, which will go a long way in ensuring that the organisations’ resources are properly harnessed; Appropriate leadership styles that suit the uniqueness of the organization should be adopted, to ensure that effective multinational management is achieved; and Brewing organisations in South-East Nigeria should be able to manage the diversities of culture, religion, values and personal practices presented by the different entities in the organization by ensuring the adoption of corporate culture that cuts through the various uniqueness of the staff of the organization. Therefore, the study concluded that No organization can survive if it does not have any competitive advantage over the other, When an organization is strategically positioned, it is empowered to face the pressing demands on it by the industry to ensure its survival, management is faced with the task of ensuring effective business policy and strategy, which goes a long way in ensuring knowledge acquisition (a vital aspect of competitive advantage) the role of strategy and structure cannot be ruled out, as it goes a long way in ensuring that the organizational resources, especially human resource is adequately tapped and exploited for the growth of the organization and strategic position plays a very key role in ensuring the competitive advantage of an organization.
1.1 Background to the Study
As the industrial market gets tougher in the 21st century, firms must compete in a complex and challenging context that is being transformed by many factors ranging from globalization, frequent and uncertain changes to the growing use of information technology (Denisi, Hitt & Jackson, 2003).Therefore, achieving a competitive advantage is a major preoccupation of senior managers in the competitive and slow growth markets, which characterize many businesses today and the sources of competitive advantage have been a major concern for scholars and practitioners for the last two decades (Porter, 1996; Hamel, 1991; Barney, 2009; Grant, 1991).
The success of any organization in an aggressive and competitive environment usually depends on its capability of the organization to adopt a best strategy that will make it survive in a competitive market (Umut, Melih, & Okumus, 2011). Hence, for firms to have a chance of survival in the industry, it is important for them to develop a focus and positioned strategy that align with the speedily evolving business environment (Pechlaner & Sauerwein, 2002).
Strategic position is concerned with the impact on strategy of the external environment, internal resources and competences, and the expectations and influence of stakeholders. Together, a consideration of the environment, strategic capability, the expectations and the purposes within the cultural and political framework of the organisation provides a basis for understanding the strategic position of an organisation (Johnson & Scholes, 2005).
Strategic position could be viewed as the overall strategic direction of a company and the need to design new initiatives (Okumus, 2001). Many market positioning, investment strategies and competitive advantages have been studied in the classification structures in……