The efficacy of information and communication technology in creating competitive advantage in 3-5 star-rated hotels in Nairobi, Kenya
Odawa, Esther Lambert
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Despite the many feasible benefits of ICT in the organizational competitiveness, the extent to which ICT has been applied to carve a niche in the hospitality industry still remains unclear. Various studies have demonstrated that companies which leverage Information and Communication Technology and product differentiation create an environment where ICT has a great impact in the business arena. While there exists some studies on ICT, none has focused on the efficacy of ICT in creating competitive advantage within the selected hotels in Nairobi, and how to innovativetly and strategically use it. Various scholars have found that the use of ICT per se does not create competitive advantage. The main purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in creating competitive advantage in selected hotels in Nairobi County.The research was carried out in 3-5 star hotels which forms about 80% of the total income of the star-rated hotels in the country. The study used a total sample size of twenty four (24), 3 to 5 star-rated hotels in the country and was designed to include the cross-sectional descriptive survey research design. A sample size of two hundred and seventy four (n=274) respondents were targeted from the 24 hotels. Two hundred and thirty four (234) questionnaires inclusive of twelve (12) interview guides were filled and returned, which formed about 85% response rate. The structured questionnaires were both open and closed ended. Both proportionate and purposive sampling techniques were used to sample the respondents for the study. The study used the split-half technique to determine the reliability of the research instruments. The collected data was then analyzed using the linear and multiple regression, the Pearson Correlation and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the related test of significance was applied appropriately. The study found out that the use of ICT in Service Delivery and Competitive Advantage were positively and significantly correlated. The results also revealed that the use of ICT in Employee Empowerment and Competitive Advantage were positively and significantly correlated. Further, results revealed that the use of ICT in Marketing and Competitive Advantage were also positively and significantly correlated. Based on these findings, the study concluded that the use of ICT in service delivery, employee empowerment and marketing had a positive and significant influence on competitive advantage. Finally, the study recommended that all the hotels should innovatively and strategically integrate their websites with Property Management Systems (PMS) to promote efficiency within the organizations. This would lead to quality service delivery which easily translates to customer loyalty and retention.