• Strategic alignment or non-alignment:

      Anthonisz, Angela Jean; University of Derby (2018-10)
      This thesis focuses on the international hotel industry as part of the global economy and examines the implications that the strategic management of human capital has within the five-star sector of the hotel industry in Dubai, an emirate of the United Arab Emirates, and an economy based on the service sector. It examines the macro environmental factors influencing the potential strategic directions of two recognized international five-star hotel brands and considers the challenges this creates for the alignment of strategy, and the implications this has for management of human capital(people) as a key determinant of success that enhances organisational outcomes. In selecting this area of research, the author has adopted a grounded theory approach to the generation of new knowledge, allowing the literature to be guided by concerns raised by hotel managers and industry consultants working in the context of Dubai. This approach led to the employment of a case study method, through which the key influences of organisational culture and ownership are considered. Two international hotel chains were identified to represent the two strategic modes of entry into the destination. The first case being a locally owned and managed chain with 7 hotels in Dubai. The second case is a European chain operating 6 hotel properties under management contract in Dubai, with 6 different owners from the Middle East. Both companies operate within the luxury five-star market that is so prevalent in Dubai. The hospitality industry, by definition, relies heavily on human capital, both as a resource and a capability that may allow for the development of competitive advantage. However, the dynamics of the Dubai hotel environment, the strength of the Arab cultural values and the organisational conditions that exist in Dubai present HR managers with a number of unique challenges, including high levels of pastoral care, and approaches to managing the workforce that may be at odds with traditional ‘Western’ ideals. This thesis adds to the existing debate on the value and utilisation of existing theoretical frameworks attached to the alignment of strategy and the implications for managing human capital in the face of globalisation and presents a model of their application in a city that is characterised by power and control, predictability and change aversion.
    • A strategic framework for performance measurement in local government:

      Coyle, Hilary; University of Derby (2018-09)
      Purpose – To investigate performance measurement in Local Government Authorities and to find out if a tool such as Kaplan & Norton’s (1996) Balanced Scorecard can be effectively used. There is a pressing need for the public sector to be efficient and effective in these times of austerity and thus to find out what they do with regards to performance measurement. To find any themes within the public sector and to see if there is a pattern and a framework that can be created. Design/Methodology/Approach – The current literature is first analysed both in the private sector and in the public sector. A deficiency of literature was found for the public sector and especially that of LGAs. The author is currently an elected member of a district council and an action research approach was taken within this case study. The data collected was then reviewed and followed up by semi structured interviews in all three councils. The data was analysed with a thematic approach. The councils chosen were all in the Midlands and are of a similar size and demographics. Findings – The findings indicate that the balanced scorecard is a tool that the LGAs can use and they do use a version of it but that there are complications to using it. Several themes appear such as: Stakeholders, Communication, Strategy, Leadership, Transparency, Business-Like, Resilience, Austerity and the Use of Balanced Measures. The main finding was that although the councils had good intentions they are not clear about what their citizens and stakeholders want. Therefore the future discussion needs to take a step back and start at the stakeholders rather than starting with the scorecard and the measures. Practical Implications – All LGAs are going through a period of austerity which is imposed by central government. They need to deliver the same quality of services for a reduced fee which means they need to work in an effective manner. By developing a framework that can show how the staff on the ground can influence and achieve the stakeholders’ expectations will enable the organisations to focus on what really matters. Once the council is focussed it can then let go of all the non-value adding activities in order to use their resources to satisfy their stakeholder needs. Originality/Value – There is a gap in the literature for this type of study as all previous studies have been for a singular LGA and from a non-action research viewpoint. A multiple LGA study would give more scope to expand the good practice. Also there is a gap in the literature for action research studies where more depth of insights can be revealed. For the LGAs a framework that can help them decipher the stakeholder needs and translate them into objectives for their staff in all levels of the organisation would vastly help them achieve their targets within the constraints of their ever decreasing stream of funding.
    • Transitional response model for post-crisis tourism: A case study of Libya

      Ahmad, Abadelzeen; University of Derby (2018-06-05)
      The thesis provides an integrated approach to tourism development within a destination (in this case Libya) that is currently suffering from lack of both short and long term investment due to an extremely uncertain political and social environment. The influences are both internal and external and could be classed as a ‘perfect storm’ affecting the country. The thesis identifies the stages of development, and those responsible for development by using an adapted butler model. It then suggests potential interventions at stages within the development, and ways in which the industry can respond quickly to the ever-changing environment of both investment and capacity building. The responses are based within the concept E-Marketing; a broad term but a modern approach to marketing that can respond quickly to changing environmental conditions. The thesis asserts that with these new methodologies the uncertainty element within a destination can be somewhat negated by the ability of the tourism industry to respond quickly both to market and de-market a destination. The suggestion is that for the foreseeable future tourism development in Libya will always be in a transitional period. The why for the thesis is because tourism has the potential to generate sizeable revenues within the Middle East and Africa, but has always suffered from significant underinvestment and varying levels of development. Libya has tourism development potential, and the thesis outlines the large number of tourist areas and unique attractions. To understand the current position of Libya in touristic terms an exploratory, qualitative, cross-sectional research strategy was adopted based on interviews with Libya stakeholders, Muslims consumers and country case analysis. The theoretical framework draws on contemporary marketing and e-Marketing theory intersecting development theory and destination management theory to investigate the role of e-Marketing. The key findings indicate that e-marketing represents a diverse toolbox that can be brought to bear in a highly integrated and focused approach that in itself becomes a source of competitive advantage. A technology-enabled e-marketing driven tourism framework provides Libya with the capacity to de-market its tourism programme, combined with the ability to reposition geographically and respond to crises caused by civil unrest. e - ii - Marketing systems provide significant potential to establish highly resilient and available infrastructures and the creation of a virtual space for planning management and tourism marketing. Critically, this thesis suggests tourism development is not wholly constrained by fragmented and transitional context. E-Marketing can counter physical and geographical constraints to facilitate diverse forms of information, communication, knowledge transfer and collaboration that enable creative forms of financing and resourcing and product development. The interconnectedness of e-Marketing processes and systems and the links between diverse actors, and institutions reflects in essence an ecosystem that is significant in allowing countries in transition to develop in highly dynamic and responsive approach. There is thus the substantial potential for the model proposed to progressively mobilise collective action, market knowledge and engagement that is critical for transitional economies.
    • Using images and deep emotions in marketing strategy in higher education.

      Hancock, Charles C.; University of Derby (2016-04)
      Purpose – Understanding student value in the Higher Education Sector has traditionally been conceptualised and measured using cognitive indicators, such as the National Student Survey (NSS). This thesis aims to build on the body of literature of service excellence, and alternative market sensing methods, such as the role of images and emotions in determining a deeper level of value for consumers. To apply a market sensing method to understand student value in an ever increasing complex environment, thus enabling a framework to develop differentiation in marketing strategy and communications for a University Business School. Design/methodology/approach – The focus for this inductive study was a Business School in which both undergraduate and post graduate students (n=24) were interviewed at depth, using a photo elicitation methodology based on Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique, (ZMET) to explore their relationship with the business school and their real value. The process consisted of the candidate choosing a number of images, in-depth interview and then constructing emotion/value maps to elicit thoughts and feelings of value and relationship with the business school with respect to their stage of the journey. Findings – Results from the study found a number of emerging themes that were more significant at different stages of the transformational student journey. The study found that students resonated with similar images at respective stages of their programmes, and that a deeper level of understanding of the students emotional factors relating to their relationship with both the Business School and University, thus finding that an emotion based methodology was a better predictor of understanding student value, than cognitive measures of satisfaction such as National Student Survey (NSS). The findings from the ZMET based methodology also enabled better differentiation for market strategy, emotion based marketing communication and identified areas of operational process that could be improved through the internal marketing towards the internal customer. Originality/Value – The thesis establishes the need to use emotional depth methodologies when understanding the customer, to create differentiation in market strategy and customer driven market communications. This is the first time a Zaltman based methodology has been used in the UK Higher Education sector, specifically understanding student value. The thesis also contributes knowledge by extending the ZMET methodology with the development of a “Deep Value Mining” (DVM) depth gauge for understanding quality of data obtained through research methodologies understanding customer value. The research also created Emotional Value Maps (EVM) as a construct tool, creating a further extension to the ZMET methodology, to help researchers understand the association between value and emotion on a customer journey enabling the understanding of what’s really important to the participants of the research subject.