Strategic alliance relationship continues to be one of the leading business strategies. It is driven majorly by increasing competition in the global market. It is also increasingly becoming popular in the business world. The research sought to establish the relationship between strategic alliances and competitive advantage at the Kenya Commercial Bank. Based on the study, this paper explores the extent to which research and development alliance influences competitive advantage at the KCB. The rationale for carrying out the research was to provide evidence-based practice for KCB and other banks as they engage in strategic alliances. The study adopted a correlational survey research design. It targeted a population of 75 respondents. The sample size comprised 63 respondents selected using random sampling technique. Data was collected using a questionnaire. The data obtained from the questionnaires were coded, organized and analysed using descriptive statistics specifically employing frequency and percentages to analyse closed-ended questions while mean and standard deviation was used to analyse the five point Likert questions. Hypotheses were tested to determine the relationship between research and development alliance and competitive advantage of KCB. The research results revealed that that there was a significant relationship between research and development alliance and competitive advantage (p=0.000). The study concluded that the Kenya Commercial Bank has gained competitive advantage as a result of entering into research and development alliances with various partners across different industries. Therefore, the study recommended that KCB should continue partnering with other commercial banks and organizations through research in order to increase its market share. The paper is significant as it identifies ways in which banks can exploit research and development alliance to provide customers with quality needs-based services and achieve competitive advantage in the banking industry.
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