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Technological Innovation And Its Role Essay

Transportation becomes a significant part of business that has a great influence over other economic and business practices. Any changes of price, demands, and technology are therefore influence businesses significantly in relating environments. In the modern era, people prefer taking air travelling to using land transportation when talking about time-usage and effectiveness. As results, the business of air transportation continues growing and spawning new entrants that target specific market segments.

Currently, especially after the 9/11 tragedy, the issue of low cost carriers are becoming dominant due to its less impact by the downtrend in air travelling. Therefore, the provision of low airfares becomes an interesting topic of discussion among economists and business analysts in addition to the technological advancement that contributes to the decreasing cost of transportation.

Concerning to the issues in air travelling, this independent research study will explore the use of technological innovation and the development of corporate brand strategy of British Airways and compare it to the academic diagnostic concept model of Hatch and Schultz (2001). This research will focus on the development of British Airways corporate brand strategy. A former study has been made by Hatch and Schultz in 2001. Based on their findings I will analyze changes

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made over time which brought British Airways today as being one of the top airlines companies.

Knox and Bickerton (2001) have suggested four variables which are the competitive landscapes. I will include this in my research and find appropriate information for this new variable. The reason to choose the two models is because they incorporate components that are needed to develop sustainable branding strategy. In addition, the chosen models are in line with airline companies that always seek to be more effective, efficient and profitable. In the mid-1990s marketing research showed that British Airways customer bases were shifting. 40 % of its customers where British and the numbers where falling.

It was clear that British Airways needed change. Concerning the branding competition in the UK, particularly, and all over the world in general, British Airways must realize that although the company is a big company in the UK, they still have low brand equity compared to Coca Cola and McDonald’s, for instances. Today, British Airways has become one of the leading airline companies, and my research will analyze the strategic path they took in order to achieve this. 2. Aims and Objectives The research aims at revealing the background, existence and future goals and strategy of British Airways in relation to its branding strategy.

Meanwhile, the research objective is to analyze the use of technological innovation on the development of corporate brand strategy at British Airways and the improvements made over the years. 3. Literature Review 3. 1. Environment of Innovation Individuals and organizational level efforts should be combined with the proper understanding of what kind of environment that would support innovation. To determine and design a supportive environment, we must pay attention to these four dimensions of measurements: 3. 1. 1. Generally perceived Level of Control

A low level of control means that the company is rather flexible in making and implementing their decisions, while high level of control symbolized a bureaucratized type of an organization. According to Ginsberg (2005), the key is to find a good balance between control and flexibility to encourage innovation as mentioned in the organizational goals. We must remember that creativity is sometimes associated with breaking the rules 3. 1. 2. Operational Structure of an Organization Organizational structure and the structure of operational system within a corporation are seldom neutral.

They usually encourage or discourage innovations. For example, structures that unaware for unhealthy competition inside the organization usually less supportive of cooperation and innovation. On the other hand strict structures might unintentionally discourage new ideas and experimentation (Bean & Radford, 2002). 3. 1. 3. Access to and Quality of Corporate Strategy. Sound corporation strategies, communications to employees in clear and relevant manners are the foundations for individual contributions to those strategies.

Often, we found corporations with employees who knows little of corporate strategy, but are being criticized for being slow to innovate (Bean & Radford, 2002). 3. 1. 4. The Overall Level of Organizational Focus Efforts of innovating need proper directions. Organizational focus provides employees with the greatest stimulus to innovate because it orients attention to serve new customer needs or solve new customers’ problems, and thus creates value (Karlsberg and Adler, 2005). 3. 2. Strategic Vision The model of Hatch and Schultz (2001) shown in appendix 2, identifies three main variables: Vision, culture and image.

This model is a help to corporations so they can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses of their corporate brand. Strategic vision and organizational culture: The vision of a company is defined by its core values. These are a set of guiding principles that have a profound impact on how everybody in a organizations thinks and acts. Research done by Collin and Porras (1994) showed that successful companies build their visions true redefinitions and reinventions of their core values instead of completely changing from one value to another.

The organizational culture of a company is the collection of values and norms shared by people or groups within the company and that control the way they interact with external stakeholders. Hatch and Schultz (2001) find that the concept of organizational culture held by most corporate branding practitioners is naive. They claim that practitioners fail to distinguish the difference between desired values; which are mostly stated in vision statement, and the practiced values at work which is the organizational culture of a company.

So in order to create a perfect harmony between these two elements, it is imperative there is an interconnection between the promise a brand makes and the performance the corporation delivers. 3. 3. Corporate Images and Integration of Technological Innovation 3. 3. 1. Corporate Images By definition, corporate image refers to the way a company is perceived by its stakeholders. Aaker (1996) argued that when brand values are consistent with organizational culture and company values, they will create credibility in the eyes of stake holders.

In the case of corporate branding Hatch and Schultz (2001) claim that alignment between perceived corporate image and actual organizational culture magnifies awareness among all stakeholders about who the corporation is and what it stands for, and enhances organizational attractiveness and reputation. The interaction between organizational and corporate image means that values will be based on the everyday behaviour occurring within the company which can unfold in different ways.

Again here there must be an interconnection between the projected image and the culture is imperative so that it resonates with the actual brand experience offered by the organizational members. Strategic vision and corporate images: A challenge in corporate branding is to align strategic visions with corporate image. Corporate branding puts stronger emphasis on the role of strategic visions due to the fact that it requires top management reflection on who the company is and what it wants to become.

Hatch and Schultz (2001) say that corporate images feed into strategic visions serving as a mirror in which top managers can reflect on who they are. This means that instead of using stakeholder images as exact assessments of brand performance, compare them with strategic vision, images held by stakeholders, on who the company is and what it stands for. Furthermore they say that: strategic vision is interpreted in relation to images held by external stakeholders who will use information on the company that goes beyond what the corporation provides.

Due to this external influence the branding process involves elements that lie outside the direct influence of the management. Knox and Bickerton (2001) have applied the model in three studies, which evidence confirmed that these variables are part of the strategic setting which organizations use to review their current strengths and weaknesses of their corporate brand. However, data from their study suggests that a fourth variable should be introduced to make the context complete. They identify it as the competitive landscape. Their study acknowledged that there is a need to consider the future competitive landscape.

They suggest two dimensions in a competitive context: a) The current image of the organization and its future competition b) The current culture of the organization and its vision for the future A supportive model is shown in Appendix 3. Knox and Bickerton also tested other models, and with the results of their study, they created a model which shows six different approaches which can be used by organization each in its own specific context. They identified the updated model of Hatch and Schultz (2001) as brand context. The six conventions of management model is shown in appendix 4. 3. 3. 2.

Branding and Technological Integration at British Airways 3. 3. 2. 1. Branding and Attractiveness of Emerging markets As explained before corporate branding helps a business to gain stronger representation among other businesses in its current market or economy by reinforcing the image of the company. If a corporate brand has been established successfully it also helps companies to grow and expand and have greater success entering new economies markets. Due to the globalised name of the company, people tend to buy the products or services of that certain known company than buying the same products of less known companies.

Nakata and Sivakumar (1997) stated that there are three reasons for emerging markets being attractive: First many are ready for an immediate extra sales effort by firms in developed countries which can establish a presence and gain of new customers quickly if they have a strong existing reputation. Second, saturation of developed markets leads to the exploitation of new markets in emerging economies to shield firms from economic recessions and changing demographics. Third market size and market growth offer enormous potential for marketing success.

Branding strategy can help a company reducing and cutting costs in emerging markets due to different factors. A model of Factors affecting branding strategy of developed firms in emerging markets is shown in Appendix 1. (Xie and Boggs 2005) 3. 3. 2. 2. Technology and Branding Enhancement at British Airways The airline industry has undergone significant restructuring in recent years. Airlines, formerly rivals in a highly regulated industry, have become opportunistic seekers of co-operation. In today’s world, mega-carriers and small airlines are working together rather than competing with one another.

Such alliances allow firms to focus on their respective core competencies, while drawing the benefits of scale economies. In essence, co-operation among competitors has led to increased competitiveness. The tendency has been to strive for a global presence. The study done by Hatch and Schultz (2001) has identified different gaps and improvements in the strategy of British Airways. The first step British Airways undertook in improving their brand strategy was a concern about the strategic vision. Their vision at that time was being the world’s most favourite airline with the focus on “favourite”.

They realized there was no need to radically change their vision but to adjust it. They changed it to: being the world’s most favourite airline, with the focus on “world”. In order to be the most preferred airline in the world, the company incorporates technology to smooth their operation. Currently, British Airways is considered to be the best airline in term of supply chain management; interestingly, there are no many sources about the implementation of supply chain management in the company’s official website (www.

britishairways. com). However, one link describes briefly about the implementation of supply chain management in British Airways. In the web page, the company considers the implementation of supply chain managements as a way to deliver services at the right place, the right time, and the right cost (British Airways, 2006). The needs of deploying supply chain management are driven by situations in airline industry that faces a complex modern aircraft and the far-flung nature of airline operations.

The conditions cause airline to face huge logistic and supply chain challenges (British Airways, 2006). Furthermore, British Airways realize that the use of supply chain management will help them in “acquiring the right [aircraft] parts and ensuring that the parts are handed over to engineers at the right time and right place at the right cost British Airways (British Airways, 2006). The situation result in the improved customer satisfaction, which further leads to enhancement of corporate branding.

The delivery of appropriate parts is highly important for British Airways since it helps the company with improved performance as an airline and as a business, which in turn provides with improved branding equity for British Airways as airlines that provide professional services. Therefore, the delivery of appropriate parts have also critical consequences as British Airways can manage their budget and most importantly there are no unscheduled delays in the hangers that may causes greater number of complains and reduced customers’ satisfaction (British Airways, 2006).

Supply chain operation of British Airways is located at The Link, a site that is located outside Heathrow international airport at London. At that place, the main operation composes of the management of the supply and distribution of components across the British Airways fleet that consists of all things from avionics (aviation electronics) and engine spare parts to cabin lighting and the new Club World seat (British Airways, 2006). The implementation of supply chain technology also involves the use of Xelus, (formerly LPA Software).

The company is known for their advance technology in web-based planning and optimization solution. In order to empower their supply chain, British Airways appoints XelusPlan to develop inventory planning solution for the airlines (E-Consultancy, 2000). 4. Research Method This paper uses observation method, which becomes an important technique for collecting data regarding what occurs in a real-life situation. To be specific, we employ non-participant observation method especially by analyzing qualitative information from journals, books, magazines and many more.

In addition, the data retrieval is performed through indirect approach, which means that the information obtained is secondary in nature. The data used within this study is generated from direct observation. This approach is appropriate because a direct observation would provide a more detail and more accurate information about the object of study. In addition, to provide comprehension, I will do some researches on British Airways using the data and observation of the working environment.

In this situation, I will employ various sources including electronics journals and surceases investigations and books that relate to the topics of discussion Bean, Roger and Radford, Russel. (2002). Managing Information Managers. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www. winstonbrill. com/bril001/html/article_index/articles/551-600/article552_body. html British Airways. (2006). Supply Chain Management. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www. britishairwaysjobs. com/baweb1/? newms=info152 E-Consultancy. (2000).

Press Release: BRITISH AIRWAYS SELECTS XELUSPLAN INVENTORY PLANNING SOLUTION TO OPTIMISE SERVICE SUPPLY CHAIN. Retrieved July 24, 2007 from http://www. e-consultancy. com/news-blog/26531/british-airways-selects-xelusplan-inventory-planning-solution-to-optimise-service-supply-chain. html Ginsberg, Scott. (2005). Motivate Your Muse. Retrieved July 11, 2007 from http://www. innovationtools. com/Search/recommended_details. asp? a=193 Hatch, M. J. and Schultz, M. (2003) Bringing the corporation into corporate branding. European journal of marketing.

37 (7/8) Knox, S. and Beckerton, D. (2003) The six conventions of corporate branding. European journal of marketing 37 (7/8): 998-1016 Xie,H. Y. and Boggs,J. D. (2006) Corporate branding versus product branding in emerging markets. Marketing intelligence & planning. 24 (4) Appendice 1 Conceptual framework of factors affecting branding strategy of developed country firms in emerging markets Xie,H. Y. and Boggs,J. D. (2006) Corporate branding versus product branding in emerging markets. Marketing intelligence & planning. 24 (4)

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