Title: The sources of e-business competitive advantages between travel agencies and online travel service firms in China

Authors: Zhen Zhu, Jing Zhao

Addresses: Center for International Cooperation in E-Business, School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China. ' Center for International Cooperation in E-Business, School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Abstract: Knowledge about the most important sources of e-business competitive advantages in the travel industry would help to focus efforts in both academic and practical areas. This study develops a framework based on the resource-based view (RBV) to identify the sources of e-business competitive advantages and compare the differences of competitive advantages between travel agencies and online travel service firms. A Delphi study and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method were conducted, using 38 top managers from the top-ranking travel firms in China. The results indicate that the main differences in the sources of competitive advantages between travel agencies and online travel service firms are strategic initiatives and e-business capabilities. Theoretically, these findings contribute to the RBV by extending its application to examine the e-business competitive advantages in the travel industry. Practically, the findings provide insights for both the managers and the policy-makers in the travel industry.

Keywords: competitive advantage; travel e-business; travel agencies; online travel services; resource-based view; RBV; analytical hierarchy process; AHP; strategic initiatives; e-business capabilities; change management; China; electronic business; travel industry; e-travel services; electronic travel services.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISCM.2011.041513

International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management, 2011 Vol.5 No.2, pp.160 - 179

Available online: 25 Jul 2011 *

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