Planning for the inevitable: an examination of strategic crisis planning in the Australian accommodation industry

Jie Wang (2011). Planning for the inevitable: an examination of strategic crisis planning in the Australian accommodation industry PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Jie Wang
Thesis Title Planning for the inevitable: an examination of strategic crisis planning in the Australian accommodation industry
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Brent W. Ritchie
Andrew Griffith
Peiyi Ding
Total pages 254
Total colour pages 6
Total black and white pages 248
Language eng
Subjects 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Abstract/Summary Crisis planning is an important strategy in turbulent times, and particularly important for industries such as tourism which may be one of the most susceptible and vulnerable to crises. As a key element of the tourism industry, the accommodation sector is also prone to internal and external shocks, and thus needs to address these problems through effective crisis planning. However, there is a distinct lack of research into this area. Most studies in the accommodation industry are concerned with crisis response or recovery rather than proactive crisis planning, and follow a descriptive case study research design. Therefore, in order to bridge the research gap, this study offers a perspective on accommodation crisis planning by incorporating the theories of strategic management, crisis management, organisational behaviour and social psychology. The study aims to evaluate the current level and nature of crisis planning by managers in the accommodation industry in Australia, and to identify factors that influence crisis planning behaviour in this industry. A conceptual framework, the Onion Model of Strategic Crisis Planning (OMSCP), was developed to examine the key factors influencing crisis planning, including individual psychological factors, organisational factors and environmental contextual factors. It contributes to theoretical advancement in the field of crisis management through a systematic and holistic approach. A quantitative survey method was used to achieve the research aim. Main data analysis techniques included Chi-square tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Pearson correlation, path analysis, and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). In order to audit the current level and nature of crisis planning in the accommodation industry in Australia, this study developed the 20-item Crisis Planning Checklist and the 7-item Crisis Planning Considerations. In the sample of 386 managers surveyed, three-quarters of respondents indicated that their organisations had undertaken crisis planning activities in the past six months. Some similarities were discovered in the focus of crisis planning implementation in the Australian accommodation industry, for example, while the highest priority was placed on Life Safety, Direction and Control obtained the lowest level of consideration. There was also some variance in the priority of the seven considerations among different accommodation groups. The operators in the higher star grading, larger, older, or hotel accommodation placed more emphasis on Exercise, whilst the operators in the lower star grading, smaller or younger accommodation placed more emphasis on Review and Update. This study also provided evidence that crisis planning helps organisations become crisis prepared. Secondly, this study examined relationships between organisational factors and past crisis planning behaviour using Chi-square tests. Results demonstrated that accommodation crisis planning was influenced by organisational factors, such as accommodation category, star grading type, organisation size and age. The accommodation that had hotel category, higher star grading and large size usually had higher levels of crisis planning implementation and, hence, a higher perceived level of crisis preparedness. Results indicated that increasing organisational age was associated with increasing crisis planning implementation; however, increasing age was not associated with increasing crisis preparedness. Thirdly, this study examined relationships between individual factors and managers’ behavioural intentions to undertake crisis planning using path analysis. SEM results indicated that attitude, subjective norm, and past crisis experience made significant contributions to the prediction, while perceived behavioural control did not affect intention. The relationships among the belief-based measures (behavioural beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs) and direct measures (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control) as well as intention were also examined using correlation analysis, providing comprehensive information about the considerations involved in the managers’ decision to undertake crisis planning. Finally, this study evaluated relationships between organisational factors and individual factors using ANOVA tests. Results indicated that star grading was associated with attitudes; accommodation category and organisation size were associated with subjective norms; and accommodation category, star grading and organisation size were association with perceived behavioural control. Data on these relationships were useful in determining which factors influence accommodation crisis planning and offered suggestions for accommodation operators interested in increasing their crisis preparedness. This study concluded that crisis planning should be treated as a part of the organisation’s overall strategy; smaller organisations can replicate large organisations and learn about crisis planning activities to improve their crisis preparedness; and industry associations and government stakeholders have a potential role as mentors for identifying benchmarks for crisis planning and developing appropriate policies to advocate strategic crisis planning. The findings of this study also provide evidence to suggest that the Onion Model of Strategic Crisis Planning (OMSCP) was useful to understand and explain crisis planning in the accommodation context, and that this would be a useful model for further research in this area.
Keyword crisis planning
strategic management
theory of planned behaviour
the accommodation industry
influencing factors
Additional Notes 34, 74, 80, 82, 104, 120

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Created: Mon, 14 Nov 2011, 10:50:19 EST by Ms Jie Wang on behalf of Library - Information Access Service