Management Practices as Capabilities: identifying specific practices and testing their effects on hotel performance


  • CDAE

Área de conhecimento: 

  • Gestão de Operações e Logística


  • Ana Maria Figueiredo Biselli Aidar




The use of Resource-based Theory (RBT) to explain the relationship between management practices and performance was questioned by Bromiley and Rau (2014), proposing the Practice-based View. Influential studies on management practices present several limitations such as the issue of the definition of practices and some methodological aspects. Aiming to contribute to this recent debate, this dissertation has two main objectives. First, it is to develop the argument that a new theory or view is not needed to explain the effect of practices on performance. The RBT can be effectively used, considering practices as capabilities. Secondly, it is to develop further empirical support for this argument that will cover some of the gaps in the literature on management practices and performance. This research advances the study of practices by identifying, in an empirically grounded way, a set of practices that potentially leads to superior performance and test the relationship between these management practices and performance in a specific context: the hotel industry in Brazil. Three research questions guide this dissertation RQ1 Which hotel management practices potentially lead to superior performance? RQ2 How can the degree of development of management practices be measured? RQ3 Can hotel management practices be a source of performance heterogeneity? This research was developed into four stages. Using a qualitative approach, the first stage incorporated both primary data and secondary data, with the aim of identifying the hotel management practices that could potentially lead to superior performance. From the practices identified, in stage 2 an instrument was developed to measure the degree of each practice and hypotheses applied to hotel industry were elaborated. In stage 3, the relationship between hotel management practice and performance was tested. And finally, in the stage 4, the factors that support or disturb the process of practice development were tested, in an exploratory way. The third and fourth stages have a quantitative approach, using multiple regression technique. Primary data and secondary data were used in these stages obtained from three different data sources. The sample was composed of 234 hotels affiliated to hotel chains and located in large urban cities of Brazil. The theoretical contribution of this research is the extension of the RBT by connecting the management practices concept with literature on capabilities, which states that the degree of capability development is related to performance heterogeneity. This research also provides contributions to empirical knowledge as well as to methodology. The regression results reinforced the importance of analyzing management practices, considered in a specific context. The regression results confirmed the importance of properly selecting the dependent variable to be tested. This research demonstrated a significant positive effect of management practices on performance, mainly on those indicators that were directly linked to the main objective of the practice. Regarding the management practices effect duration on performance, the research brought some insights that must be deeply explored in future studies. Some factors can influence the practice development, contributing to the existence of different degrees, as some of them factors seemed not to be as easily solved. Related to the methodological contribution, a reflexive scale of the management practices was developed and tested, covering a broad scope of practices from different areas Finally, this study also has practical implications, particularly for hotel managers, by providing a framework that supports them to establish priorities.

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