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The perceived influence of centralizing operational activities in chain hotels

Espino-Rodríguez, T.F. and Taylor, J.S. (2006) The perceived influence of centralizing operational activities in chain hotels. Tourism and Hospitality Research (6). pp. 251-266. ISSN 1467-3584

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This paper makes an exploratory study of the centralisation of operations in hotels that belong to a chain and are located in a tourist destination. Although hotels are increasingly using a strategy of operations centralisation, little research has addressed the impact of that centralisation on the strategic business units (hotels). First, this study analyses the degree of centralisation of the hotel operations across the hotel chains examined. These operations constitute the activities or business processes that are necessary to provide the hotel service. Secondly, this work examines the perceived influence that operations centralisation has on the operation's competitive value for the strategic business unit from the resource-based view of the firm. Thirdly, it analyses the influence of operations centralisation on the operational performance of the hotel. A survey instrument was developed and data were collected from a field study of 32 hotels belonging to 16 different hotel chains operating in a European tourist destination. The results of this study indicate that the most centralised operations are those that require specific skills and knowledge, as well as those that are less valuable for the hotels. They also show that the degree of centralisation has an influence on some aspects of operational performance related to human resources. This work shows the influence that each operation has on operational performance, depending on its degree of centralisation.