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Information technology applications and competitive advantage in hotel companies

Purpose – This paper aims to propose a conceptual framework that illustrates how information technology (IT) applications may lead to competitive advantage in hotel companies. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is written based on a synthesis of previous literature in this area. Findings – Multiple areas need to be carefully evaluated in developing and implementing IT projects so that they can lead to competitive advantage in hotel companies. There are four closely related areas when analyzing IT decisions in hotels, which include coherence between the business strategy and IT decision, types of IT applications, intended benefits of IT decisions, and decision‐making style. Technology sophistication, management skills, and integration of resources are key issues when implementing IT decisions. Investments into IT applications in hotel companies can lead to superior IT competencies and IT capabilities, which can subsequently result in lower cost, agility, innovation, added value for customers, and better customer service. However, not all IT investments may result in positive outcomes or their sustainability may be short lived. In addition, there can be a lag time between making IT investment decisions and seeing their intended outcomes. Practical implications – There are multiple areas and issues that need to be considered in making and implementing IT investment decisions if they are to contribute to the company's competitive advantage. Hotel companies need to be selective in their IT investment decisions and look at each IT investment from the strategic management perspective. Originality/value – This is one of the first articles in the hospitality field that offers a theoretical framework on how IT applications can lead to competitive advantage in hotels. It also offers numerous theoretical and practical implications. Therefore, this paper should help hotel executives and researchers in evaluating IT projects in hotel companies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology Emerald Publishing
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