Utilization of organization's capabilities as an operations strategy in the hotel industry in Kenya
Wanyanga, Charles M
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The study attempted to explore the extent of utilization of core capabilities as an operations strategy by hotels in Kenya and establish the challenges they face in pursuit of this strategy. A survey was carried out on 100 of Kenyan hotels. The choice of the hotels as the service industry of study was made in consideration of the pivotal role it plays in tourism industry and hence Kenyan economy. The survey comprised of a representative sample of classified hotels across Kenya. The target respondents comprised of operations managers or top management cadre. The findings were based on data collected from 77 respondents. Data collection was by use of structured questionnaire which were self administered. Data was then analysed using descriptive statistics. The research study showed that majority of the respondents had hotel employees who deliver service expeditiously as the most highly rated capability. Customers were encouraged to provide feedback and the leadership directed employees on quality service delivery. Based on broad operations strategy dimensions, it was found that speed, innovation, timeliness, quality and customer service capabilities were the most commonly practiced in the same order, cost and flexibility capabilities were much less practiced. The findings also showed that, most hotels were found not to practice collaboration with other firms, for 'best practice'. The findings further showed that some capability attributes were considered to be very important but were not highly practiced. The respondents considered difficulty in operationalizing the business strategy and lack of leading role played by operations department as their major challenge. Based on the research findings it was concluded that hotels in Kenya utilized their organizational capabilities to reasonable extent as an operations strategy for competitiveness.