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Value chain and the Internet in companies pursuing a differentiation strategy: case studies of Finnish hotels
2004 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Internet together with information technology sets new challenges, but also opens opportunities for companies to achieve competitive advantage. Therefore, the research problem of this thesis has been formulated as how can the value chain be described in a company pursuing a differentiation strategy under the influence of the Internet. The research problem is further developed into two research questions concerning how value chain and sources of differentiation can be described under the influence of Internet technology. The purpose of this study has not been to generalize findings to all Finnish hotels, but to gain a deeper understanding of value chain and Internet technology in companies pursuing differentiation strategy. A qualitative research approach is used for this study. Two Finnish hotels have been chosen as our case study companies, and within these case companies, one small congress hotel and one national wide hotel chain have been selected. Personal interviews were conducted with the persons, possessing the best knowledge in developing company’s strategy. The findings of this study clearly indicate that the way the Internet has affected on the case hotels’ value chain is unique and depends on many factors, like the scope, size and scale of business. The hotels have taken advantage of the potential of the Internet technology as an information centre, reservation medium, and operational tool. The information technology is permeating the case hotels’ value chains practically at almost every activity, but still, the Internet technology is not applied by the hotels enough to exploit the full potential. In addition, the Internet technology has not been utilized by the hotels as the dominant source of differentiation for each activity within value chain. The hotels have used Internet technology neither to establish distinctive strategic positioning nor to reflect hotels’ differentiation strategy. The most significant implications from this study can be indicated as the importance of the integration and the fit of the companies’ over all competitive strategy and the value chain activities. When it comes to Internet technology, the companies should strategically make choice on the best suitable technological applications and creatively deliver values to fit and strengthen companies’ competitive strategy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, value chain, differentiation, Internet, competitive, advantage, strategic positioning, source of differentiation, information technology, Finnish hotel industry
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-45979ISRN: LTU-SHU-EX--04/097--SELocal ID: 39e8e624-11ce-490e-b233-1d98a9fa54aaOAI: diva2:1019286
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Electronic Commerce, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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