The strategic use of information in the airline industry
This thesis is an empirical investigation of the strategic use of information in the airline industry, and explores the development of competition in the airline industry from an information perspective. The research traces the evolution in the environmental conditions facing airlines from World War I to the present. The research also analyses evolution of the uses of information. Information is an enabler, allowing things to be done, but information can also be a resource in itself. The research finds growing strategic use of information from automation to using information as a resource for strategic flexibility. The main sources of information that airlines use in their strategic efforts are analysed, as well as the ways in which airlines procure this information and the uses they make of it in strategy. The research finds evidence of distinct phases in the evolution of the uses made of information by airlines. Crucial to airline strategic flexibility is local market information acquired informally. However, the evidence also illustrates the serious difficulties airlines face in using the external information about the markets in which they operate in their strategy. Different streams of academic literature support the findings of this empirical research.