A Test of the Co-Alignment Principle in Independent Hotels: A Case Study
Taylor, Marcia Hillary
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The purpose of this study was to understand the types of competitive methods used by independent hotels in their bid to obtain and sustain competitive advantage. The concept of the co-alignment principle, as it relates to the choice of competitive methods and their implementation, was the focus of the research. The study investigated the co-alignment between the elements of the co-alignment principle; strategy choice, firm structure and firm performance. Five hotels in Jamaica and two propositions were used to test the model. The theoretical discussions were based upon the resource-based view literature. The empirical section of the study consisted of in-depth case studies, direct observations, guests' surveys and secondary data of independently owned and operated hotels in Jamaica. Interviews were conducted with general managers (or acting general managers) and other managers at each hotel. The study revealed the importance of co-alignment in hotels and the results indicated that performance was best when there was co-alignment. The results also indicated that the competitive methods cited by managers, as providing the greatest value to the hotels, were not always in line with what guests saw as important to them. Six conclusions were reached, which revealed the actions of managers of independent hotels. Unlike past research that focused on only one element of the co-alignment principle, this study focused on three elements; strategy choice, firm structure, and firm performance. The fourth element, environmental forces, was held constant in this study.