Volume 3 Number 2 (October 2003- March 2004)

  WHAT HAPPENS TO MY INFORMATION IF I MAKE A HOTEL BOOKING ONLINE: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF ON-LINE PRIVACY POLICY USE, CONTENT AND COMPLIANCE BY THE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL COMPANIES   Peter O’Connor
 


Consumer privacy concerns are thought to be stalling the growth of e-commerce. Although regulatory philosophies differ between Europe and the US, internationally there is a general agreement on certain global privacy protection principles, namely notice, choice, onward transfer, access, security, integrity and enforcement. A content analysis of the privacy policies of the 30 largest international hotel brands revealed that 25% fully complied with these guidelines, 69% partially complied and only 7% failed to include a policy of any kind. Omissions most often occurred in terms of Choice, Security and Integrity, indicating an unsophisticated approach to the management of consumer information on the part of some hotel companies.  However, follow up research revealed that those hotel companies that actually displayed a policy in general complied with the promises made in their privacy disclosures.
 

  RETAILING AT PETROL PUMPS: FROM COMMODITY DISPENSING TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
P. Kumar, A. Sahay
 


The Indian petrol and diesel retail market is undergoing metamorphosis. Intense competition has set in due to the reforms carried out in persuasion to the policy of liberalisation which has resulted in the entry of private players in petroleum sector. The existing players have suddenly started giving importance to customer’s needs and wants. Customer Relationship has, thus, emerged as a virtue to them. The present research identifies the elements of products and services that determine customer satisfaction in delivering petrol/diesel to them. The work investigates various elements of products and services and develops a model for designing the services at petrol retail outlets, which will create customer satisfaction.
 

  AN EXAMINATION OF THE RESONANCE BETWEEN THE SELF-PROPAGATING FUNCTION OF ERP AND ITS CO-EVOLUTIONAL IMPACT AS A SOURCE OF MAXIMUM FIRM UTILIZATION OF THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF IT
Masayo Hobo, Chihiro Watanabe
 


As Japan has experienced a vicious cycle between non-elastic institutions and insufficient utilization of the potential benefits of information technology (IT), a dramatic deployment of i-mode service (NTT DoCoMo’s mobile Internet access service) in the late 1990s provides encouragement that the nation’s institutional systems can effectively stimulate the self-propagating nature of IT through dynamic interaction with it. In addition, while the deployment of i-mode service has been initiated by non-organizational initiatives, the advancement of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in constructing a self-propagating interaction between ERP firms and their customers demonstrates that a similar expectation can also be initiated by organizational initiatives. Provided that the dramatic deployment of i-mode service can be attributed to a resonance between “an institutional spiral trajectory” initiated by non-organizational initiatives based on learning experiences from previous services and an IT driven self-propagating trajectory, a similar resonance between a self-propagating interaction between ERP firms and their customers and customer co-evolutional interaction with non-organizational customers (consumers) is expected to lead to maximum utilization of the potential benefits of IT by organizational initiatives. This paper, on the basis of an empirical analysis of resonance in ERP utilization, attempts to demonstrate the above hypothesis and identify the structural sources that enable effective utilization of the potential benefits of IT by organizational initiatives.
 

  MEASUREMENT AND ENABLEMENT OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FLEXIBILITY: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY   Ramaraj Palanisamy, Sushil       
 


Organizations are required to be increasingly flexible in today’s business environment to survive. Understanding the role of information systems in enabling this flexibility is helpful for practicing managers. This paper examines the ability of information systems to create flexibility in organizations, by analyzing the relationship between organizational flexibility and four IS enablers: IS flexibility, IS enabled organizational change, IS enabled organizational learning, and IS maturity. A survey of 296 users from 42 organizations across eight industrial sectors was then conducted to gather study data. Measurement development was conducted for all except IS maturity. To examine the proposed model, moderated regression analysis was used. The study results validate the relationship between organizational flexibility and four IS enablers. Nonetheless, IS maturity does not appear to moderate the relationship between organizational flexibility and IS flexibility.
 

  SERVICE LEADERSHIP STUDY
Nimit Chowdhary Bhagwati P. Saraswat
 


The discussion about services has revolved around bigger players and their precision and professionalism in delivering excellent quality services. While we talked of SAS, Disneyland, McDonalds, Ritz Carlton, Apollo Hospital and the likes, we have often neglected the small and medium size service endeavours. During nineties, while the third world has relentlessly worked to boost their economies, the growth of services has been a natural corollary to this effort. The greater proportion of contribution both in quantitative and qualitative terms has come from the smaller and medium sized players. There have been innumerable examples of excellent services, though not really considered professional in theoretical terms. Unfortunately enough, the management gurus have preached to these players to be all the more professional in approach and follow the examples learnt from the world-class players, not appreciating that the ultimate aim of any business is to satisfy its customers, notwithstanding its size. What matters is the customer satisfaction and not the management theory/school one follows. On the contrary, we can learn many lessons from these smaller players to enhance the levels of our service quality. This paper is based on case studies of 18 Mexican small ticket service providers who were considered offering some excellent services. These providers in a relatively high context Mexican society, with more or less family businesses have organized their activities to be translated into a superlative customer satisfaction. The author have made an attempt to explore in depth what makes these services tick. Not living up to the prescribed service models and best practices, these have without fail lived up to the expectations of their customers. The study attempts to analyze the service leadership and cultural constructs of these companies. Findings suggest that though these companies do not go by the prescriptions of a so-called professionally managed service firms, they have often devised their indigenous approaches to reach the goal of customer satisfaction. Despite being small, they have successfully carved a niche for themselves. The charismatic leaders are proving equally successful as the professional-enlightened managers.
 

  GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES IN AN EMERGING SECTOR – THE CASE OF NIRULAS
Vinnie Jauhari
 


The Indian food sector is teeming with activity. It has seen many Indian and foreign brand names emerging -  a post liberalization effect. The coming in of foreign chains like McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut. TGIF Friday’s  has given the local entrepreneurs a run for their money.  The Indian chains like Nirulas have also woken up to the challenge and are aggressively on an expansion drive and have altered their business strategies as well. Then there are chains like Haldirams in Delhi which also offer a huge competition to the well known fast food outlets. The market has still not matured and is in a stage of infancy. There is really no Indian food chain which has a national presence. There are well known chains which have a regional presence. However, there is a drive by come established brands to have a national presence and efforts are being made by them.
 

  CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) & CORPORATE RENAISSANCE
M.L. Agrawal
 


Business in south Asia is currently at a low ebb. So is the corporate confidence.  There is a clear and present danger from the forces of global competition, to the corporate sector in South Asia, if it does not re-invent itself and engineer massive renaissance. The risk mandates not only a better management of macro parameters of the economy but also necessitates a new strategy at the firm level. The strategy is customer relations management (CRM). The concept of CRM is premised on a simple logic of business- it must keep tracking customers once attracted; retain them in business portfolio; and, profit from their growth. Shorn of all managerial jargons, CRM epitomizes a ‘marriage of relationship marketing with the emerging information technology’. The paper describes the concept and mechanics of customer relationship management; illustrates how CRM helps corporate renaissance in hard times; and finally, recommends a line of action for an effective CRM implementation towards a quicker corporate renaissance. Alongside, the paper urges business schools of South Asia to incorporate CRM in their teaching curricula so that the business and academics can continue to stay relevant to each other.
 

   
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