Nexus between Cost Leadership Strategy and Performance: Fact or Fallacy in Milk Processing Firms in Kenya

  •  Paul G. Kimiti    
  •  Stephen M.A. Muathe    
  •  Elishiba M. Murigi    


Milk processing firms as a constituent of the food processing sector play a crucial function both economically and nutritionally. However, performance in the industry continues to be impended by high costs leading to low profitability margins, decline in output and collapse of some firms while others show stunted growth. It is hypothesized that this situation can be remedied by pursuing cost leadership strategy through economies of scale, economies of scope and operational efficiency. Extant literature however is scanty on how this strategy is employed by milk processing firms in Kenya with studies done failing to focus on how the firms manage costs as a driver for better performance. This has made it difficult to determine whether the hypothesized effect is a fact or fallacy. This study thus was an investigation of the effect of cost leadership strategy on performance of milk processing firms in Kenya. It was anchored on the balanced scorecard model complemented by the resource based view and capability based view theories. The study empirically examined the relationship using data from milk processing firms in Kenya obtained from a sample of 168 key respondents. The findings showed that cost leadership strategy had a positive and significant effect on performance of milk processing firms in Kenya. The study recommends that milk processors improve their performance by cutting costs through measures to increase their scale of operations, expand into related business areas and improve operational processes. The government and other the regulatory bodies should implement corresponding supportive policies and reforms.

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