Gaining competitive advantage for Kenyan hotels through application of information and communication technology: a case study of 2-5 star rated hotels
Maringa, Leah W. K.
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This study was a response to the present crisis in Kenyan hotels that are threatened by a dwindling international market share. It sought to establish a clear relationship between Information and Communication Technology Application as the independent variable, and Competitive Advantage, the dependent variable. A number of previous studies have suggested that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be used as a strategic instrument that enables a company to achieve Competitive Advantage. They assert that E-Hotels enable the industry to retain its market share in a competitive world. In this study the effects of applying information technology on Competitive Advantage were measured through the seven dimensions of the construct, Competitive Advantage Provided by an Information and Communication Technology Application [CAPICTA]. These dimensions are: Primary Activity Efficiency, Support Activity Efficiency, Resource Management Functionality, Resource Acquisition Functionality, Threats Response, Preemptiveness, and Synergy. These seven dimensions were used as a basic framework for this research within which to measure the response of Competitive Advantage in the international market, to the Application of ICT in the Kenyan hotel industry. Information was surveyed in Nairobi city, the Kenyan Coast and Nature Reserves Clusters, using the survey research design. The study used structured interview schedules as data collection instruments. The study focused on 2, 3, 4, and 5-star rated hotels, which constitute a significant 79% of the total number of 2 to 5-star rated hotels in the country. Cluster and stratified probability sampling was complemented with simple random probability sampling. This ensured reliable and valid, as well as representational research. With complex sampling 30 respondents in Management were interviewed from 30 hotels within the three principal tour circuits in the country. Data was gathered in the ordinal scale of measurement and Spearman's rank correlation analysis and its related test of significance were applied appropriately to the data. This study has achieved the objectives set; it established that the seven dimensions of the CAPICTA construct do respond to the Application of ICT in hotels. Their response has been shown to result in improved performance, of the form of more efficiency and productivity in Hotels. This study has also successfully proven the alternate hypothesis, which states that, there is a relationship between the Application of information technology and Competitive Advantage in Kenyan hotels. The analysis confirmed a strong correlation between the response of Competitive Advantage in the seven dimensions of the CAPICTA construct of hotels, to the Application of ICT in hotels, as well as with their star rating or the quality of facilities.