Competitor-focused accounting applied to a hotel context
Purpose - To explore the nature and potential of competitor-focused accounting practice (CFA) in a large hotel. Design/methodology/approach - Unstructured tape-recorded interviews ranging from one to one-and-a-half hours' duration were conducted with 21 senior managers representing finance, marketing, hotel operations, casino, and human resource management in a large hotel. Findings - Levels of CFA formalised application appear limited, especially when compared with a widely held managerial perception that significant benefits could derive from applying CFA. The CFA practices noted were conducted in an unstructured and ad hoc manner. The main generic use of CFA is in connection with sensitising staff with respect to competitors' strengths and also strategy development. The hotel shared occupancy level information with competing hotels. Research limitations/implications - The study suffers from all the limitations generally associated with a single company qualitative field study. These limitations include the degree of subjectivity that is invoked when researchers interpret qualitative field study data. Practical implications - The paper clarifies the notion of "CFA" and provides an outline of CFA management issues arising in the context of a hotel. An outline is provided of those parts of a hotel operation that are most likely to be more active in CFA, together with empirically informed suggestions with respect to CFA uses in a hotel. Originality/value - The paper is highly original. Despite the generally accepted importance of strategy development being informed by appropriately conducted competitor analysis, there has been a paucity of research concerned with competitor analysis in the hotel industry.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management