Being one of the strongest brands in the world, Marriott International, Inc. won the unconditional recognition among consumers: it’s preferred be customers worldwide; it possesses global reach and the reputation of an excellent operating company. Therefore, the experience of Marriot International management often becomes the object of research in different research spheres.
In late 1990’s, there appeared publications devoted to the phenomena of Marriot and the success of the hotel chain. Thus, “The Spirit to Serve: Marriott’s Way” (Marriott and Brown, 1997) discusses the history of Marriott, Inc. and the main engines of company’s success. Revealing and explaining the difficulty and undoubtful challenge and the essentiality of fostering the qualities and principles that any successful company applies, Bill Marriott establishes priceless fundamental laws for business organization and, moreover, shows brilliant knowledge of business and people’s nature that can be encouraging for all managers regardless of their level or business area.
Another serious research is published within “Marriott – The J. Willard Marriott Story” (O’Brien, 1995) and includes not only the biography of Marriott’s CEO, but analyses the way the company began and grew. Marriott’s management approaches are also widely covered in “Surprisingly Simple Routes to the Top” among other 3 leading companies of the American lodging industry marked for their “devotion to innovation” (Dubé and Renaghan, 1999).
Over the last decade, a range of researches deals with debating on methods applied by Marriott in organizing their activities. The company is taken as an example in the research of Hinkin and Tracey (2010) on human resource practices for the innovative approach that gives emphasis to the value of employees and links payment to the quality of performance. Marriott’s International marketing techniques are analyzed by Shanahan and Hyman (2007), O’Neill and Mattila (2004), and O’Connor (2008). The case of Marriot International is also considered in the research on latest knowledge management trends (“A problem shared”, 2005). The latest REV PAR data and approaches to revenue management by Marriott, Inc. are provided in “Revenue Management’s Renaissance” (Cross, Higbie and Dax, 2009), however, this research lacks full data of the latest revenue generation index, now applied by Marriott.
At the same time, the issues concerning the situation in Marriott under the conditions of globalization processes are much less covered. Mostly relevant to this topic researches are “Simultaneous Impacts of International Diversification and Financial Leverage On Profitability” (Jang and Tang, 2009) and a more applied approach to globalization impacts discussed in “International Hotel Meeting Contract Clauses: A Comparison of Multiple Destinations” (Boo, Hillard and Jin, 2010).
In their study Jang and Tang (2009) observe financial leverage and international diversification in a model of simultaneous equation to show their influence on profitableness after taking into account the endogeneity between economic and strategic decisions. The research revealed that international diversification indirectly affects profitability through leverage role regulation, which means that financial leverage is more closely associated to remunerativeness than international diversification. In their turn, Boo, Hillard and Jin (2010) confirmed that there exist certain differences in the regularity of meeting contract clauses inclusion not only between Toronto, Shanghai and Washington, D.C hotels taken as a case, but also between U.S. and non-U.S. brand hotels.
Another demonstrative publication is the research by Fred and Chandana (2003), who consider the case of Avenda as an independent company created by Marriott International together with 4 other hotel groups, spread globally. The research could be helpful in understanding future challenges for the company put in the conditions of globalized markets.
In addition, it’s important to mention that the majority of data available for analysis is obtained through the researches implemented directly by Marriott International at the corporate level through Corporate Marketing Services (CMS). The task of CMS lies in providing managers of various areas Marriott operates in with the necessary information to better understand the market and consumers. CMS conduct a variety of studies using quantitative and qualitative methods (telephone and mail surveys, focus groups, etc.) to obtain the data necessary for segmentation, consumer price sensitivity, client satisfaction with services, etc. This information is of great importance for analyzing Marriott’s current situation and future perspective on the global market.
In the 21st century, the success of economic development and the ability to overcome social problems largely depends on how the society, industry or single organization can adapt to new global realities and use them for upgrades. This poses a difficult dilemma for all the states and social actors. They either will be able to “fit in globalization”, or will be condemned to backwardness and stagnation. Accelerating economic and social dynamics of one group of countries, globalization intensifies global imbalances. Therefore it is no coincidence that it is negatively perceived by states and social groups, which are not dynamic or competitive enough to learn new technologies and adopt new values.
International hospitality industry is an integral part of international relations, which raises the need to organize and manage the full range of hospitality activities both within individual states and internationally. Thus, globalization in hospitality industry can be defined as the process of sharp increase in tourism flows, as well as flows of services, capital, information and technologies, which usually do not fall under the control of national governments.
The current tendency to unifying hotels in the international chains assumes that the hospitality industry is taking steps to improve its competitiveness. Because of the peculiar functioning under the market conditions, the optimally arranged hotel chains, due to the pooling of resources, particularly financial ones, are more competitive if compared to “single” hotels and potentially the most resilient. However, in the light of the recent economic transformations, this sphere requires the development of legislative basis for chain functioning, formation of management and marketing systems of hotel chains under conditions of market instability and business risks of hotel business subjects.