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Title: Assessing the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on productivity in the hotel sector : an operations management approach
Author: Sigala, Marianna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 8761
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2002
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Although investments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are continuously increasing, the relationship between ICT and productivity has been very elusive. Indeed, despite the plethora of studies, research findings have always led to contradictory and/or questionable results. This has resulted in the development of a debate around the concept of the so called ICT productivity paradox. Recently, the issue regarding the productivity impact of ICT has been intensified due to the increasing role and penetration of ICT in the economy and their potential to create an equal competing field for all operators. However, it is widely recognised that there is a need to enhance our understanding of how ICT enhances productivity as well as to develop new techniques and methods for measuring, assessing and managing ICT for delivering organisational value. It is the aim of this study to investigate the impact of ICT on productivity by proposing and applying a robust methodology that is argued to overcome the limitations and problems of previous studies. By providing empirical evidence of the critical ICT issues that add organisational value, the research findings have also contributed in the development of a framework for managing ICT, which in turn raises more questions for further research and investigation. The hotel industry is not an exception in such developments. ICT investments are increasing, however research on their impact on hotel productivity is lacking. To that end, the empirical framework of the study is placed within the context of the hotel sector. In particular, a mail survey targeting hotel managers of three star hotels was conducted for gathering data regarding productivity and ICT metrics. The latter were developed after conducting a thorough and systematic review of the literature regarding three core fields: a) productivity; 2) ICT; and 3) Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The latter is a multivariate statistical technique that was employed for carrying out enhanced statistical analysis of the productivity metrics, which were in turn investigated in their relationship with three ICT metrics. These were; a) type and amount of ICT applications; b) integration of ICT systems; and c) sophistication of use of ICT applications. Overall, 93 usable questionnaires were obtained, which provided the following main findings. Although, a great variety of ICT has been adapted in three star hotel properties, operators are very limited in the way they exploit ICT tools and capabilities for enhancing their productivity. Specifically, very few hotel properties are deploying the networking/integration capabilities of ICT and so limit themselves to automating isolated work tasks and processes. Moreover, a great majority of respondents were found to be at the first stages of ICT implementation meaning that they mainly use ICT for automating their processing and not for exploiting the informational and transformational capabilities of ICT. On the contrary, findings provided evidence that productivity benefits are mainly attributed to ICT integration and sophistication of use rather than simple ICT availability. In this vein, in order to materialise ICT productivity benefits, an integrated approach for managing ICT should be adopted and implemented. Specifically, hotels need to manage and co-ordinate four components namely business processes, information, information systems and information infrastructure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available