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Critical success factors in UK four and five star hotels

Dieck, Dario Silvano Garlef Tammo Tom (2014) Critical success factors in UK four and five star hotels. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This research aims to assess the strategic tool of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) within the UK four and five star hotel industry by developing a strategic framework incorporating CSFs within the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach. Success in the hotel industry at all market levels and locations is determined by the ability to clearly formulate and implement a coherent strategy. Considering the importance of the hotel industry for the UK economy, it is essential to enhance overall strategic understanding within the hotel sector in order to increase efficiencies, performance and overall success. A major factor in identifying and understanding what needs to be done comes in identifying CSFs. This concept combines the strategic aims of the company and condenses them into a number of manageable factors that are absolutely critical to success. In addition, the BSC approach as a strategic tool that utilises CSFs to measure the performance and success of businesses is utilised. For the three stages of primary data collection, a mix of quantitative techniques, questionnaires and Delphi rounds, were used. The first stage included 33 questionnaires with hotel managers to update the existing list of CSFs; followed by three Delphi rounds with hotel industry experts to reduce the number of CSFs. These final factors were then ranked in importance by 61 general managers and owners of UK four and five star hotels. Confirmatory factor analysis identified a total of 19 CSFs for the UK four and five star hotel industry. Overall, there are four to five factors within each of the four BSC categories. Out of these, yield maximization, hygiene and cleanliness, staff friendliness and customer loyalty were identified to be the most important CSFs of each BSC category. A key finding is that even within a relatively homogenous set of hotels there are distinct differences in CSFs importance based on hotel characteristics such as size, location, star rating and ownership structure. Therefore, a significant result of this study is the creation of a framework for business strategy incorporating CSFs and the BSC for UK four and five star hotels for a coherent strategy formulation and implementation. Overall, the research also provides academia and the UK four and five star hotel industry with a tool for the prioritisation of strategy creation and implementation.

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